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Advisor in the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs

Blake Deeley is serving as an advisor in the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs at the Interior Department. “The Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs (OCL) has responsibility for the development and implementation of strategies to advance the Department’s legislative initiatives and other interests relating to Congress.”

A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Blake Deeley began his political career interning in Mitch McConnell’s office. From there, he worked as a staff assistant for Rand Paul and next as a legislative correspondent for Mitch McConnell. Starting in December 2014, he worked a stint as a state lobbyist for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. After lobbying, in May 2015 he returned to Capitol Hill to work in the House of Representatives, first as a legislative assistant and then as a policy advisor, in David McKinley’s office. While in McKinley’s office, Deeley worked on H.J. Res. 38, a Congressional Review Act bill “that block[ed] the Office of Surface Mining’s (OSM) Stream Protection Rule (SPR).” Deeley was also “the lead staffer for the Congressional Coal Caucus.”

Sources: [Department of the Interior, Press Release, 07/27/17, “Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs,” Department of the Interior, accessed 08/02/17, Legistorm Profile for Blake Deeley, accessed 08/02/17, Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission search for Blake Deeley, accessed 07/31/17, “Rolling Back Obama’s Regulations Using the Congressional Review Act,” Congressional Western Caucus, accessed 07/31/17, H.J. Res.38 – Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule, United States House of Representatives, 115 Congress, and Michael Doyle, “Agency adds staffers with histories in coal, timber, Iraq,” Energy & Environment, 07/27/17]

Special Interests

Coal Lobby (Resource Development on Public Lands)

While working on Capitol Hill, Deeley worked on H.J. Res. 38, the Congressional Review Act that blocked the Obama administration's Stream Protection Rule. Deeley was also the lead staffer for the Congressional Coal Caucus.

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also connected to:

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Deeley worked for and was a registered lobbyist for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, an organization that supports the future of Kentucky's coal industry.

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also connected to:

Murray Energy Corporation (Resource Development on Public Lands)

In a memo he wrote to his then-boss, Representative David McKinley, Deeley used talking points from Murray Energy, the largest privately owned coal company in the United States, to explain why the Stream Protection Rule was illegal.

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also connected to:

Background Information

Previous Employers

Senator Rand Paul, United States Senate

Senator Mitch McConnell, United States Senate

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (worked as a lobbyist)

Representative David McKinley, United States House of Representatives

Additional Background on Employers of Note:

Blake Deeley has worked for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, a pro-coal organization.

From December 2014 to May 2015, Blake Deeley worked for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce supports “efforts that will help Kentucky position itself as the leading exporter of coal to international markets,” “careful legal review of the rules that regulate carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants,” and argues that “federal policies… have crippled the coal economy in the eastern and western Kentucky coal fields which has had a negative impact on the entire state.”

[Legistorm Profile for Blake Deeley, accessed 08/02/17, and “Support the Future of Kentucky’s Coal Industry,” Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, accessed 08/02/17]

In 2016, Blake Deeley used talking points spoon-fed by industry to write a memo to his boss, David McKinley, on the “Illegality of the Stream Protection Rule.” The following year, Deeley was the McKinley staffer responsible for working on H.J. Res. 38, the congressional review act that overturned the Stream Protection Rule.

When he worked for Representative David McKinley, in July 2016, Blake Deeley wrote McKinley a memo on the “Illegality of the Stream Protection Rule” in which he wrote that the “proposed SPR will be devastating to underground longwall mining” and that the rule would “put a significant amount of otherwise mineable coal out of reach.” In his memo Deeley used points provided by Murray Energy Corporation, which is the largest privately owned coal company in the United States, to explain why the Stream Protection Rule was illegal.

[Blake Deeley to David McKinley, 07/12/16, and “About,” Murray Energy Corporation, accessed 08/02/17]

The Stream Protection Rule was an Obama-era update to existing mining regulations that required “companies to restore the ‘physical form, hydrologic function, and ecological function’ of streams after mining operations are complete” and required “monitoring pollution levels in streams near surfaces mines.”

[Jeremy Deaton, “Congress is set to overturn the Stream Protection Rule,” ThinkProgress, 01/31/17]

In 2017, when he worked for Representative David McKinley, Blake Deeley was the McKinley staffer responsible for working on H.J. Res. 38, a Congressional Review Act bill to “bloc[k] the Office of Surface Mining’s (OSM) Stream Protection Rule (SPR).” McKinley was one of the original cosponsors of H.J. Res. 38, which passed the House and Senate and became law on February 16, 2017.

[“Rolling Back Obama’s Regulations Using the Congressional Review Act,” Congressional Western Caucus, accessed 07/31/17, and H.J. Res.38 – Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule, United States House of Representatives, 115 Congress]

When he worked on Capitol Hill, Blake Deeley “served as the lead staffer for the Congressional Coal Caucus.”

[Michael Doyle, “Agency adds staffers with histories in coal, timber, Iraq,” Energy & Environment, 07/27/17]

Other Information

Blake Deeley was a registered lobbyist in the state of Kentucky for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. His registration is no longer active. 

[Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission search for Blake Deeley, accessed 07/31/17]