david bernhardt america first energyDAVID BERNHARDT HAS WITHDREW AS A SPEAKER AT THE AMERICA FIRST ENERGY CONFERENCE. 

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A spokesman for Heartland said Thursday Bernhardt had cancelled his commitment to speak at the America First Energy Conference. According to the spokesman, “his reason is quite valid – nothing to do with politics or any kind of controversy.”

David Bernhardt serves as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. President Trump nominated Bernhardt for the position in April 2017 and the U.S. Senate confirmed him in July 2017.  Bernhardt has made a career as a counselor and lobbyist for coal, oil, and gas interests, including the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the Independent  Petroleum Association of America. Since 2009, Bernhardt was separately paid by twelve companies connected to the oil, natural gas, mining, or water industries for legal services.

While a top DOI official in the Bush administration, Bernhardt pushed for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Bernhardt also ignored cautions by government scientists during his 2001 testimony to Congress on Arctic drilling. He also used data from reports funded by BP.

On October 4th, 2017, Bernhardt attended and spoke at the annual meeting of  the National Mining Association. The conference was controversially held at the Trump International Hotel.

Bernhardt’s nomination was strongly opposed by conservation groups