Energy & Environment

Ex-Trump Interior, EPA leaders find new posts

Two top environmental officials from the Trump administration are taking on new positions in Washington, it was announced Monday. 

Andrew Wheeler, the former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, is joining The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, as a visiting fellow.

David Bernhardt, the former Interior Secretary, is rejoining lobbying and law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, as senior counsel.

Spokesperson Lara Day said in an email that Bernhardt has "no intention" of lobbying the Interior Department or its agencies. 

"David's counsel, expertise and perspective will complement our teams and add immediate value to our clients," Day said, adding that Monday was the Trump official's first day on the job. "David will focus on big picture, strategic opportunities."

Bernhardt's page on the firm's website says that he "assists client's efforts to solve matters of federal administrative law, regulatory compliance, infrastructure siting, natural resources development, energy and government investigations."

The Heritage Foundation released a statement saying that Wheeler, in joining them as a visiting fellow, will advise on the economic and environmental impact of energy, climate change and environmental regulations.

"His service on Capitol Hill as well as in the private sector will help bolster our team's expertise on a range of important policy issues. Andrew has proven in his career a commitment to protecting America's natural resources while rejecting aggressive government regulation," Heritage Foundation President Kay James said in a statement, referencing Wheeler's prior employment, including his work for the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. 

While serving in the Trump administration, Wheeler spoke at some Heritage Foundation events

"I am deeply honored to join this well-respected team as we work together to advance conservative values with policies that will benefit all Americans," the former environment official said in a statement. 

Both Bernhardt and Wheeler are also among the Trump administration officials who have recently joined former Vice President Mike Pence's conservative political group.

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