Thursday, October 10, 2019

Bureau of Land Management's acting director said no land should be public; denied climate change and ozone hole

Acting BLM Dir. William Pendley
William Pendley, the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, is under scrutiny for a history of controversial views about public lands, the environment and other issues. Now CNN reports that he "has repeatedly denied the existence of climate change and falsely claimed in a 1990s speech there was no credible evidence of a hole in the ozone layer."

Before Pendley was appointed in July, he was a "conservative activist, commentator, lawyer and served as the longtime president of the conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation," Andrew Kaczynski, Paul LeBlanc and Nathan McDermott of CNN note. Trump has not nominated a permanent director for the agency since taking office in 2017.

"The BLM manages 244 million acres of federal lands in the United States -- one out of every 10 acres of land in the country -- along with 30% of the nation's minerals. As acting director of the BLM, Perry wields significant authority over the leasing and use of land for mining, recreation, and oil and gas exploration and development along with maintaining environmental protections for federal lands," CNN reports. "The agency is currently taking steps to move its headquarters and employees out west."

In a 2016 National Review article, Pendley opined that there should be no public lands. "The Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold," Pendley wrote. "Westerners know that only getting title to much of the land in the West will bring real change."

In a 1992 speech to the Heritage Foundation, Pendley declared that the news media were pushing a false narrative about the environment, CNN reports: "Despite the total absence of credible scientific evidence, the media is convinced and is attempting to convince us that we have global warming, an ozone hole and acid rain and that it is all man's fault."

His dim view of environmentalism seems unchanged. "Speaking on 'The Americhicks' podcast earlier this year, Pendley said environmentalists were 'preaching fear' about climate change and claimed 'global cooling' was a widespread concern 'just a couple of years ago,'" CNN reports.

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