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Press Release

Westerman, Gosar Inquire Into DOI Deputy Secretary's Conflicts of Interest

  • OI Subcommittee

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ranking Member Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) sent a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau and DOI's designated agency ethics official Heather Gottry, requesting information to evaluate Beaudreau's compliance with his ethical requirements. In part, the members wrote:

"Concerns surrounding Deputy Secretary Beaudreau’s potential conflicts of interest arose during his Senate confirmation process. Specifically, Deputy Secretary Beaudreau’s prior representation of companies in the wind energy industry raises potential for conflicts of interest. The Biden Administration set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. DOI plays a key role in this initiative through the development of renewable energy in federal waters. To meet President Biden’s goal, DOI is reviewing 14 applications for permits to build offshore wind turbines, 10 of which are being sought by Deputy Secretary Beaudreau’s former clients. According to a chief attorney with a government ethics group, 'if there are pending applications, he’ll need to stay out of it' to protect the integrity of the decision-making process for the wind farm proposals. It goes without saying, Deputy Secretary Beaudreau should recuse himself from issues benefiting his former clients.

"Deputy Secretary Beaudreau’s Public Financial Disclosure Report reveals 35 clients, which contributed to his nearly $2.4 million income within a 14-month period. ...Given Deputy Secretary Beaudreau’s extensive list of clients, Scott Amey, General Counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, suggested, 'full transparency here would be copies of his calendars and meetings that he’s having to show his former clients aren’t receiving an unfair advantage that isn’t available to other competitors in the industry.' To avoid the appearance of impropriety, Deputy Secretary Beaudreau should disclose additional details about his participation in policy discussions and decisions to the public."

Read the full letter here.