Biden’s cabinet is going off the rails, into climate chaos.

Last week we wrote to you about the important chance to make sure Joe Biden picks climate activists, not corporate cronies, for his cabinet. Since then, unfortunately, the process has dissolved into a disorganized hodgepodge of favor-trading, corruption, and skin deep lip service for progressive values.

This was supposed to be a moment for experience, progressive values, and science-based decision making. Tell Joe Biden to get back on track by signing our petition now, if you haven’t already. And if you have, click here to back up your signature with a social media post, or a phone call.

Last week, Biden picked former USDA head and longtime corporate-farm lobbyist Tom Vilsack to lead the Department of Agriculture, again. At the same time and in a classic, tokenizing horse trade, Biden named Rep. Marcia Fudge, who we had backed along with many other progressives — not to mention the US House Whip Rep. James Clyburn , the NAACP, and the Congressional Black Caucus — to lead the Department of Housing and Urban development: A job she explicitly did not want and had made clear should not be given to another “Black person in Labor or HUD.”

Fudge could have been a transformative pick at the USDA’s — someone who could unite the rural and urban constituents of the agency, tackle the big impacts on climate of our food and farm system, and address the agency’s long history of racial discrimination. Instead we get another old white dude with a history of racism, corruption and climate denial.

News coverage of the Vilsack/Fudge disaster also makes it clear Biden is not interested in diverse, proven leaders with a history of acting on climate — leaders like Deb Haaland, Mustafa Santiago Ali and others.

News reports out in the last few days indicate he’s already offered he Interior Secretary to other candidates (and been turned down) and now he’s looking to hire Michael Regan, the current head of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, to lead the EPA.

Regan, you might remember, is the person who literally approved the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Reagan was appointed by Gov. Cooper to protect our climate and reverse North Carolina’s shameful history on environmental justice. Instead, he swiftly approved the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, as previously negotiated with Duke EnergyActivists were so mad about it, that they (and we) sat in at Gov Cooper’s office for more than 8 hours demanding he revoke the permit – instead he ordered local police to arrest the protesters.

That Biden is considering people like Vilsack – a corporate-backed, Big-Ag lobbyist – to lead the Department of Agriculture; And Regan – an Environmental Quality secretary most famous for green-lighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline after years – to lead the Environmental Protection Agency; indicates that this process has gone off the rails.

A coalition of progressive groups is trying to get it back on track – but we need your help to make sure that Biden and his team are listening.

Tell Joe Biden to get back on track by signing our petition now, if you haven’t already. And if you have, click here to back up your signature with a social media post, or a phone call.

It’s time for a non-corporate, fossil free cabinet

For the last four years, we’ve witnessed the unchecked racism, environmental damage, and sheer incompetence of having the White House and Administration run by corporate fossil fuel flunkies.

Thanks to our work and the work of many others to block Trump’s attempts to undermine the election and overturn the results, and thanks to the votes of more than 80 million Americans, Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States on January 20th, 2021.

When he does, he’ll need an administration to get to work on day one that will fight for justice, climate action, and a green new deal to build back better. Unfortunately, Biden is under tremendous pressure from corporations and polluters to rehire the same corporate lobbyists, executives, and consultants from the revolving door of failed action on climate and other priorities.

This week is our best chance to convince Biden and his team to hire real, diverse, climate leaders for key positions in the administration. In short, it’s time for a fossil free cabinet. Sign now to tell President-elect Biden and the Senate: appoint and confirm public-minded progressives who will act on climate to the new administration!

Biden faces an un-enviable list of crises on his first day — from the pandemic to climate change to police brutality. To solve those crises, with a focus on those hit first and worst by the impacts, means we need progressive champions in the administration who see the intersection of race, immigration, policing and climate; And are willing and able to act on day one.

I’m talking about a stark difference between nominees for key positions like the Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, and Energy, as well as who will lead the EPA under Biden.

Biden needs people with proven track records of prioritizing the interest of the public and our common home. Moreover, he must decline to nominate or hire corporate lobbyists, top executives of big corporations, and prominent corporate consultants — especially fossil fuel corporations. And if necessary, Biden should use tools like the Vacancies Act and recess appointments to overcome obstruction by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans. Sign here if you agree!

Here’s just a few of the decisions Biden could make this week – having moved quickly to name his nominees to deal with the pandemic and economic crises already:

Any or all of these positions might be announced this week. If we want Biden to pick leaders like Fudge, Haaland, Ali and more, we need to show him and the Senate that the American people demand bold leadership — NOW.

Sign Now to tell President-elect Biden and the Senate should appoint and confirm public-minded progressives to the new administration!

meme image made with thanks to photography by Gage Skidmore (Biden) Martin Falbisoner (White House) and design by Ruliani (fossil)

Fire William Pendley, Trump’s racist, climate denying public lands director

If you’ve been paying attention for the last 3 years, it won’t shock you to learn that William Pendley, Trump’s Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is a climate-denying white nationalist.

But even in Trump’s swamp, Pendley is worth paying attention to – because this corrupt critter is dangerous, dirty and Congress has the power to remove him – if we speak out.

Sign here to tell Congress: Acting Director William Pendley must resign or be removed from heading the Bureau of Land Management.

Let’s start with the basics. The BLM is responsible for maintaining federal lands and resources for everyone’s benefit across the country. They manage federal monuments and wilderness areas, and even have a role in protecting national parks. The job of the BLM director is, basically, to take care of public lands. To be a good steward and protect them for future generations.

But that’s not Trump and Pendley’s vision. Pendley is a long-time advocate of selling off public lands or giving them to states to sell. His vision is about profit, not protection — and he’s made a fortune selling our public lands to the fossil fuel industry for a pittance. Pendley’s last job was lawyer for a couple counties in Utah that wanted to carve up sections of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments for drilling, fracking and mining. Check out this informative video from the Years Project for more.

Like a lot of corrupt, climate-denying Trump administration officials, including his Boss Andrew Bernhardt, and Bernhardt’s predecessor Ryan Zinke, Pendley never stopped working for the fossil fuel industry. At last count, Pendley had a whopping 57 conflicts of interest — and that’s just the ones he’s chosen to disclose to the ethics office.

But actions speak louder than disclosure reports, and Pendley is not only corrupt, but a climate-denier. At BLM he’s prioritized killing Wild Horses over action to stop climate change. And Pendley literally wrote a book (5 of them, actually) on fighting environmental laws and deregulating public lands in which he calls conservation “radical” says scientists lie or cheat to accomplish their goals, calls Native American religions “pantheism” and accuses the government of carrying out a “war” on the western states. Which is one reason why nearly 100 environmental groups have denounced him publicly.

Being an anti-environment climate denier is bad enough, but Pendley’s brand of public land for private profit also traffics in white nationalism. Pendley has argued that “local law enforcement bears primary responsibility for enforcing state and federal laws,” amplifying the agenda of white nationalist organization Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.

It’s the same ideology that lead him to support the Bundy family when they held a Wildlife refuge at gunpoint. Those same ranchers were later pardoned by Donald Trump.

Any one of these actions – his conflicts of interest, his climate denial, his radically anti-public lands message or his close ties to white nationalist militias is enough to disqualify Pendley from serving. And here’s the thing: Pendley is only at BLM by Congress’ agreement – he’s another “acting” director who can be hauled in front of Congress to explain his past-deeds, and removed if enough members of Congress don’t like his answers.

So let’s get the ball rolling on that and remove another racist, corrupt, climate Denying Trump administration official before its too late! Sign the petition: Demand Acting Director William Pendley resign or be removed from heading the Bureau of Land Management.

Corrupt and Corrupter – an update on Sec. Bernhardt

To help drive home the point that David Bernhard, Trump’s climate-denying Interior Secretary, is one of the most corrupt members of the cabinet, our allies this week are driving a giant billboard around the streets of Washington DC. But, well, you sort of have to see it:

“This billboard, which should turn some heads, would be funny if so much wasn’t at stake,” said Jayson O’Neill, deputy director of the Western Values Project.

WVP is just one of the allies who’ve helped us gather more than 100,000 signatures so far calling on Congress to investigate Bernhardt. If you haven’t already, you can sign on here or share this message with your friends online to spread the word!

Tell Congress: Bernhardt is Too Corrupt to Continue

We’ve told you before about David Bernhardt, Trump’s latest (not the first) corrupt, climate-denying Secretary of the Interior.

Last time we updated you, Bernhardt had just been confirmed despite nearly 200,000 of signatures opposing his nomination. The vote was largely along party lines, with the same three same Democrats who voted against the Green New Deal — Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) — voting for Bernhardt.

But now there’s a new opportunity to take down another Trump Administration official, like we did with Zinke, Pruitt and others before. Congress is considering opening an investigation into Bernhardt’s cozy relationship with his former lobbying clients. Can you help us encourage them to do so?

Add your name to tell Congress to investigate David Bernhardt’s corrupt connections to his past lobbying clients.

Just like Trump’s impeachable conduct with the Ukraine – there’s real evidence and legal basis to remove Bernhardt. One of his first acts upon being appointed to Secretary of Interior was to engineer the largest rollback of the Endangered Species Act in history.

And in the last few weeks, Bernhardt’s DOI gave one of his largest former clients, the Westlands Water District, a special deal to use more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which supports many threatened and endangered species.

Bernhardt has spent his entire career working for climate profiteers who make a killing off of killing our climate and environment. But he may have gone too far in doing favors for the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).

The IPAA is a group of oil and gas producers like Shell, ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil that have multibillion dollar stakes in exploiting previously protected lands and waters. They also have a track record of harming working class communities and communities of color. But earlier this year they boasted about having “unprecedented access” to Trump administration officials, including “direct access” to Bernhardt himself.

Even for the Trump administration, this is naked, brazen corruption. And it’s up to Congress to investigate, and eventually remove Bernhardt from office — just like they’re doing with the impeachment investigation.

Sign here to tell Congress they must investigate Bernhardt and determine whether he is using his cabinet-level position to promote the interests of past clients – and if so, they need to impeach him too.