Interior staffer who oversaw push to shrink national monuments to work for BP: report

 Interior staffer who oversaw push to shrink national monuments to work for BP: report
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Downey Magallanes, a Department of Interior official who oversaw the Trump administration’s push to shrink two national monuments in Utah last year, has reportedly left the agency and will be working for BP as part of its government affairs team.

"Downey was an incredible asset and I trusted her to carry out some of the Administration's highest priority projects," Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeTrump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Big-game hunters infuriated by Trump elephant trophy debacle Interior moves ahead with opening wildlife refuge next to contaminated nuclear site MORE said in a statement obtained by The Washington Post. "She will be missed in our office and I wish her all the best."

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"I am grateful to Secretary Zinke and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE for giving me the chance to serve in the Department of the Interior," Magallanes said of the move in an email obtained by the Post. "I look forward to this incredible new opportunity with BP."

Magallanes, whose father, Frederick Palmer, also worked as a lobbyist for Peabody Energy Corp. for 14 years, reportedly left the department last week and will start her new job at BP after Labor Day.

Under the Trump administration’s ethics pledge, those appointed to political positions are reportedly barred from lobbying their respective agencies for five years after leaving office.

Magallanes reportedly worked on congressional relations during her time with the agency and is the Interior Department’s second top official to leave in the last week.

Her move comes almost a year after President Trump's controversial move to massively shrink two national monuments in Utah, which potentially opened up thousands of acres to drilling, mining and grazing. 

The move to erase efforts to preserve the monuments by former Presidents Obama and Clinton represented the largest-ever rollback of protected areas, which prompted much criticism from lawmakers and activists.

Stephen Bloch, legal director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, an advocacy group, said Magallanes’s work history, her family's ties to the coal industry and her move to BP indicates she came to the Interior Department with an "agenda."

"Her prior work on behalf of oil, gas and coal, her family's ties to the coal industry, and the fact that she is headed to BP all point in one direction: that she came to Interior with an agenda to promote fossil fuel development over the interest of the American public,” Bloch told the Post.

"Magallanes was intimately involved in the lead-up to President Trump's unlawful attack on the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, a decision that was immediately challenged by Native American tribes, conservationists, and businesses," Bloch added. " We'll be working to undo that mischief long after she's gone."