Biden admin official hit with ethics complaint for role in federal oil leasing pause

Biden admin official hit with ethics complaint for role in federal oil leasing pause

  • September 13, 2022

Thomas Catenacci, Fox News

FIRST ON FOX: A federal watchdog group filed an ethics complaint Tuesday against Laura Daniel-Davis, a senior Interior Department (DOI) official, for potentially working on behalf of her former employer’s interests.

The group Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) accused Daniel-Davis, the DOI’s current principal deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management, of violating federal conflict of interest regulations and the Biden administration’s ethics pledge for her activity related to oil and gas leasing in Alaska, according to the complaint first obtained by Fox News Digital.

The complaint alleged that Daniel-Davis’ prior role as the chief of policy and advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), a major environmental organization, influenced her decision to implement the DOI’s oil and gas leasing pause in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in the northern region of Alaska. The NWF joined an August 2020 lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to award the ANWR leases while Daniel-Davis was still with the group.

“At minimum, this connection creates a reasonable appearance of impropriety,” the PPT complaint stated. “At worst, it suggests that Ms. Daniel-Davis may have participated personally and substantially in a particular matter in which her former employer was an interested party.”

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