The Revolving Door Personified in Interior’s #2

The Revolving Door Personified in Interior’s #2

  • November 16, 2022
Documents from lawsuit shed light on potential conflicts

Today, watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust highlighted information shedding light on the work of Department of the Interior’s #2 prior to his current stint in the Biden Administration.

Tommy Beaudreau was confirmed as the Department’s Deputy Secretary last year and worked for one of DC’s most powerful law firms between his stints at Interior in the Obama and Biden Administrations. HIs financial disclosure report revealed nearly three dozen clients, including “numerous companies with potential business before the Interior Department, from fossil fuel drilling and pipeline firms to offshore wind developers,” according to a media report.

Documents received via a transparency lawsuit by PPT reveal Beaudreau, the current Interior Deputy Secretary, communicating with Trump Administration political appointees at the Department all the way up to the final hours of the outgoing administration, while at his former law firm. They also document his work during this time on matters that may cross over administrations, presenting potential conflict of interest issues. Journalist Jimmy Tobias highlighted the work of Beaudreau’s firm with the State of Florida on controversial permitting authority while he was there. He also personally worked on matters involving the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, a species that Interior agreed to evaluate for listing as endangered or threatened in the settlement of a lawsuit that overlapped the Trump and Biden Administrations.

“The revolving door in DC between government service and powerful lobbying and law firms is a major source of the American public’s wilting trust in its government,” Michael Chamberlain, Director of Protect the Public’s Trust, said. “It’s also certainly not helped by agencies’ vampire-like resistance to sunlight being shined on them. PPT will continue to do the work required to overcome this intransigence and provide the transparency the American public deserves.”