Watchdog files ethics complaint over Biden admin official’s involvement in Alaskan energy plan
- September 15, 2022
“On an issue that has been such a huge magnet for controversy, one would think the Department of the Interior would want to make sure that all the t’s were crossed and the i’s dotted.”
Ben Whedon, Just the News
Watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) has filed an ethics complaint into possible wrongdoing at the Department of the Interior, alleging that a senior official may have improperly influenced policy to the benefit of her past employer.
PPT alleged to the inspector general that Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Laura Daniel-Davis may have authorized shifts in DOI policy to comply with demands her former employer, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), had brought in a suit against the agency over oil and gas extraction operations in Alaska.
“Based upon documents PPT obtained from a whistleblower and 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,” the watchdog stated. “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 complaint points specifically to the suspension of nine leases issued under the Coastal Plains program, a controversial energy project at the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.