Nonprofit Activist-Turned-Interior Official Is Using Federal Power To Shut Down Arctic Drilling, Ethics Watchdog Alleges
- September 19, 2022
Tristan Justice, The Federalist
A government watchdog group filed a complaint with the inspector general’s office at the U.S. Department of the Interior last week, accusing a senior land administrator of crossing the ethics line on Arctic leases.
The transparency nonprofit Protect the Public’s Trust accused Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Laura Daniel-Davis of improper influence over the Interior Department’s cancellation of oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Prior to joining the Biden administration, Daniel-Davis was chief of policy at the National Wildlife Federation, which had sued the department over the leases under President Donald Trump.
In a press release, Protect the Public’s Trust wrote that based on whistleblower reports and a Freedom of Information Act request, “Ms. Daniel-Davis’ involvement in the issue may have crossed the line into personal and substantial involvement in a particular matter involving her former employer.”
“Within six months at Interior, Ms. Daniel-Davis had exercised her official authority to achieve practically all of the legal remedies sought by her former employer in court,” the group explained. “Even worse, the legal arguments she relied on to do so were strikingly similar to those developed for and included in her former employer’s legal filings.”