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Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy at the Department of the Interior

Downey Magallanes was formerly the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy at the Department of the Interior. She stopped working at Interior in August 2018. Shortly after leaving Interior, she landed a job on the government affairs team of energy giant BP.

Downey Magallanes went straight to Washington D.C. after graduating from the University of Arizona in 2006. First, she worked as a legislative correspondent for Kit Bond, then worked on Jim Talent’s 2006 Senate campaign before getting a job as a “Special Assistant for Communications” at the Department of Energy. In 2009, she worked as an associate at Clearview Energy Partners LLC, an “analysis firm focused on energy policy.” She then returned to Capitol Hill to work for Roy Blunt, first as a legislative assistant and, after obtaining her law degree in 2012, as his counsel advising Blunt on “energy, environment, [and] natural resources” policy.

Sources: [LinkedIn Profile for Downey Magallanes, accessed 06/08/17, Jim Snyder, “Former Bush aides help form new political intel firm,” The Hill, 04/03/09, Legistorm Profile for Downey Magallanes, accessed 06/08/17, Michael Doyle, “Zinke’s deputy chief of staff departs,” E&E News, 08/27/18, and Juliet Eilperin, “Top interior staffer who backed shrinking national monuments to join BP,” Washington Post, 08/28/18] 

Special Interests

Clearview Energy Partners (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Magallanes worked an analysis firm focused on energy policy that was opened by two former Bush administration officials.

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American Exploration and Production Council (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When she worked for Congress, Magallanes went on two trips paid for by the American Exploration and Production Council, a trade association for oil and natural gas production companies, which cost a total of $2,174.

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Natural Gas Lobby (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When she worked in the Senate, Magallanes authored a provision in the 2016 pipeline safety reauthorization bill that expedited permitting for liquefied natural gas facilities.

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Peabody Energy (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Magallanes' father is Frederick Palmer, who was previously the senior vice president of government relations at coal giant Peabody Energy.

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BP (Resource Development on Public Lands)

After serving as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's deputy chief of staff, Magallanes began working on the government affairs team for energy giant BP.

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Background Information

Previous Employers

Additional Background on Employers Note:

Downey Magallanes, in 2009, was an associate at Clearview Energy Partners LLC, an “analysis firm focused on energy policy” founded by former George W. Bush administration officials.

Clearview Energy Partners describes itself as “an independent research firm that serves institutional investors and corporate strategists by assessing macro policy and economic trends that impact energy supply, demand and price.”

[LinkedIn Profile for Downey Magallanes, accessed 06/08/17, Jim Snyder, “Former Bush aides help form new political intel firm,” The Hill, 04/03/09, and “Michael Levi Joins Clearview Energy Partners, LLC As Senior Advisor,” Clearview Energy Partners, 03/09/17]

When she worked in the Senate, Downey Magallanes went on trips paid for by the American Exploration and Production Council that collectively cost over $2,110.

When she worked in the Senate, Downey Magallanes went on two trips sponsored by the American Exploration and Production Council that cost a total of $2,174.70. The first trip, in 2010, cost $773.10 and was a tour of “a natural gas production facility in Northeast Pennsylvania.” The second trip, in 2011, cost $1,401.60 and on the trip Magallanes “[a]ttended meetings on oil and energy; toured well sites, hydraulic fracking sites and compressor pump station.”

[Legistorm Profile for Downey Magallanes, accessed 06/08/17]

When she worked in the Senate, Downey Magallanes authored a provision that “expedite[d] permitting” for liquefied natural gas facilities and “streamline[d] environmental permitting for railroad infrastructure.”

When she worked as Counsel for Senator Roy Blunt and worked on various Senate Appropriations Subcommittees, Downey Magallanes “authored and included a provision in the 2016 pipeline safety reauthorization bill… to expedite permitting of small scale liquefied natural gas facilities.” She also included legislation to “streamline environmental permitting for railroad infrastructure” in the 2015 highway bill.

[Department of the Interior, FOIA Response, 06/07/17]

Current Activity

Downey Magallanes oversaw the “controversial review of more than two dozen national monuments.”

Magallanes “had several one-on-one meetings” with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to discuss his “controversial” national monuments review, “in the days before Aug. 24, [2017] when Zinke submitted his draft report to the White House.” She also “traveled with Zinke to several monuments, including Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears, as part of his monuments ‘listening tour.’”

The review resulted in President Donald Trump “gutt[ing]” Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments.

[Chris D’Angelo, “The Daughter Of An Ex-Coal Executive Helped Lead Trump’s National Monuments Review,” Huffington Post, 12/23/17]

Magallanes father is Frederick Palmer, who was previously the senior vice president of government relations at “coal-giant” Peabody Energy.  

Frederick Palmer “spent 37 years in the coal industry, 14 years of them as the senior vice president of government relations at Peabody.”

Palmer said that he was “well aware and extremely proud of his daughter’s work at the agency, including her lead role in the monuments review, and supports the administration’s recent rollbacks.”

[Chris D’Angelo, “The Daughter Of An Ex-Coal Executive Helped Lead Trump’s National Monuments Review,” Huffington Post, 12/23/17]

Palmer claimed that his daughter “‘recused herself from anything having to do with Peabody,’” but she had a meeting with Peabody Energy at least once since she started working at Interior.

“Schedules show Magallanes was among three Interior officials who joined Zinke on a June 5 video call with representatives of her father’s former employer — roughly a month after she and Zinke’s visit to Grand Staircase-Escalante.”

[Chris D’Angelo, “The Daughter Of An Ex-Coal Executive Helped Lead Trump’s National Monuments Review,” Huffington Post, 12/23/17]

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, which President Trump gutted as a result of the review Magallanes helped lead, is “coal-rich.”

While Peabody Energy “does not appear to have any historic or newfound interest in mining the Grand Staircase-Escalante area, which contains vast deposits of coal. Still, it’s a resource that struggling coal companies like Peabody might see as a future opportunity.”

[Chris D’Angelo, “The Daughter Of An Ex-Coal Executive Helped Lead Trump’s National Monuments Review,” Huffington Post, 12/23/17]

Financials

Financial Disclosure

Department of the Interior salary: $135,000

[Downey Magallanes, ProPublica’s Trump Town, accessed 03/15/18]