Trump Pick For Public Lands Chief Puts Endangered GOP Senators In Bind

“Either Cory Gardner and Steve Daines back an anti-environment extremist and outrage public land advocates, or they oppose him and face Trump’s wrath.”

“President Donald Trump just put two of his favorite Senate allies in a tough spot.

Late Tuesday, Trump formally nominated William Perry Pendley, a conservative lawyer with extreme anti-environmental views and a long history of advocating for the sale of federal lands, to serve as director of the Bureau of Land Management ― an agency that manages 245 million acres, more than one-third of all federal land.

The timing of the move is baffling. Pendley has served as the bureau’s acting director since last July, thanks to a series of questionable ― some say illegal ― extensions by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Pendley could have remained in that role indefinitely, but Trump instead opted on the cusp of the 2020 elections to kickstart the scrutiny of a Senate confirmation process that Pendley has so far avoided.

That presumably will confront Republican Sens. Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Steve Daines (Mont.) ― two close Trump allies facing tough reelection bids who recently scored rare points with the conservation community ― with a dilemma: vote to confirm Pendley, which would surely enrage public land advocates, or oppose the nominee and face the wrath of Trump.”

Chris D’Angelo reports for HuffPost July 1, 2020.

SEE ALSO:

“Trump's Nomination Of Public Lands Manager Tees Up Tough Vote in the Senate” (Washington Post)