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The Department of Influence

The Department of Influence was created by the Western Values Project to document the revolving door between special interest lobbyists and political appointees at the Department of the Interior and to expose how that revolving door influences decisions made by the department.

Throughout the Trump administration, former industry lobbyists and representatives have been entrusted to oversee and make decisions impacting the same industries they once profited from. Unless the public holds them accountable, these political operatives can use their power in government to enrich their special interest and industry allies.

At Interior, this means people who once worked for oil, gas, and other special interests have the power to decide how, when, and where these corporate interests can access public lands. They’re putting all the power in the hands of corporations and special interests at the expense of hunters, anglers and other public lands users. The consequences of this one-sided approach will be grave for communities who rely on the outdoor economy.

The Department of Influence is meant to inform the public, policymakers and news media about the depth and breadth of these relationships and how they influence decisions made at the department.