Washington, D.C. — For the second week in a row, oil industry giant Exxon and its lobbyists are in the (unflattering) spotlight. New reporting reveals that Exxon has hired the lobbying firm of Trump’s corrupt former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt in a move entirely unsurprising given Exxon’s proven history of rampant polluting and climate hypocrisy.
Last week, Channel 4 reported that a senior lobbyist for Exxon was caught on tape admitting that, as the company attempts to greenwash its actions and publicly paint itself as an environmental advocate, the company has allegedly used the American Petroleum Institute (API) as “whipping boys” to take the blows for Exxon’s worst anti-climate behaviors.
Now Exxon has reportedly hired Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, the firm that welcomed back David Bernhardt after a tenure of rampant corruption and anti-climate action during his time leading Trump’s Interior Department — including doling out favors to benefit BHFS clients.
“As if getting caught red-handed in its climate hypocrisy wasn’t bad enough, Exxon is now doubling down on its former lobbyist’s admission that it doesn’t really care about the environment by hiring the firm of Trump’s deeply corrupt and anti-climate Interior Secretary David Bernhardt,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Any company that really cared about protecting the environment and combatting climate change would not take on a firm that has now twice welcomed back as staunch an opponent of climate action as Bernhardt.”
See below for more history on the ways Exxon benefitted from a cozy relationship with the Trump administration during Bernhardt’s tenure:
- The American Petroleum Institute, The Powerful Trade Group Of Which Exxon Is A Prominent Member, Was Granted Multiple Requests From Its Wishlist To The Interior Department For Handouts And Regulatory Relief, and API Member Companies Received Special Treatment Via Lease Suspensions and Postponed Inspections From the Interior Department.
- ExxonMobil Got A Royalty Reduction to Half a Percent on Three Public Lands Leases From The Trump Administration’s Bureau Of Land Management, Which Advised Public Lands Oil and Gas Drillers on How to Apply For Reduced Royalty Rates and Lease Suspensions.
- Trump’s Acting Bureau Of Land Management Head Previously Led A Legal Foundation Funded By Exxon.
- Trump’s Interior Department Rolled Back Migratory Bird Protections in An Act That Primarily Benefitted The Oil And Gas Industry — And Exxon In Particular, As 97% Of The Fines Came From Exxon Oil Spills.
- The Trump Interior Department Gutted Major Environmental Protection Regulations To Benefit Oil and Gas Companies Following Exxon’s Lobbying And Meetings With Top Interior Officials.
- Trump’s Interior Expedited A Pipeline During The COVID-19 Pandemic To Benefit ExxonMobil After Trump Bragged About Doing Favors in Exchange for Campaign Donations.
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