Watchdog group urges ethics probe of BLM official

Watchdog group urges ethics probe of BLM official

  • January 30, 2023

A watchdog group led by a former Trump administration official wants a federal probe into whether a senior Bureau of Land Management official improperly maintained financial ties to ConocoPhillips while the bureau was evaluating a project the company has proposed in Alaska.

Protect the Public’s Trust on Monday filed a formal ethics complaint with the Interior Department’s inspector general requesting an investigation of BLM Deputy Director of Policy and Programs Nada Culver’s financial ties to ConocoPhillips.

“This may be the most egregious example yet of the considerable disregard for ethics compliance at the Department of the Interior” during the Biden administration, Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, said in a statement.

Protect the Public’s Trust bills itself as nonpartisan, but Chamberlain is a former Trump administration official.

“Ms. Culver’s testimony before the Senate clearly put her in a position where she could affect the marketability or market resale value of the bond through the public’s perception of the economic fortunes of Conoco,” the complaint says.

Protect the Public’s Trust has raised ethical questions with the IG’s office about Culver over the past couple of years.

The group in 2021 filed a complaint with the IG that alleged Culver violated agency ethics rules when she met with a previous employer on potential changes to the agency’s regulation of oil and gas development and climate change (Greenwire, Sept. 2, 2021).

Watchdog group urges ethics probe of BLM official