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Deputy Chief of Staff, Acting Deputy Secretary

Kate MacGregor is serving “as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.” As Deputy Assistant Secretary, MacGregor will “advise the Assistant Secretary and Secretary on energy development and public land use.” On August 29th, 2018, it was reported MacGregor was promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff. On October 1st, 2019, it was reported MacGregor had been nominated to be Deputy Interior Secretary and had been already exercising the authority of the role ever since David Bernhardt had been confirmed to be Interior Secretary. If confirmed, MacGregor “would take over a position that’s typically responsible for the department’s day-to-day operations.


[Department of the Interior, Press Release, 04/06/17, “Zinke names new deputy chief of staff,” E&E News, 08/29/18, “Trump nominates former Hill staffer as deputy secretary,” E&E News, 10/01/19]

Biography 

Kate MacGregor is a Washington insider and an ally of the oil and gas industry. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, she became a registered lobbyist at Alcalde & Fay. MacGregor then became a congressional staffer. Since 2007, she has worked for Congresswoman Thelma Drake, Congressman Eric Cantor, and on the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, where she helped craft and implement a “legislative agenda” to “advance U.S. oil and gas development on federal lands.” MacGregor has repeatedly supported the oil and gas industry’s agenda, even praising legislation that would allow pipelines through national parks.

[Legistorm bio for Kate MacGregor, accessed 07/07/17, and Department of the Interior, FOIA Response, 06/07/17] [Kate MacGregor, The Next Infrastructure Challenge: Conversation with Kate MacGregor and Brandon Mooney, YouTube, 05/14/15, 18:10]

Special Interests

Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (Resource Development on Public Lands)

MacGregor won an award at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation's August Recess Shoot-Out in 2013. CSF has received funding from industry interests including ExxonMobil, America's Natural Gas Alliance, Shell, and Peabody Energy.

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also connected to:

Oil and Gas Lobby (Resource Development on Public Lands)

While working for Congress, MacGregor crafted and implemented a legislative agenda to advance oil and gas development on federal lands.

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also connected to:

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

When she worked for Congress, MacGregor went on a $1,100 trip paid for by the American Exploration and Production Council, a trade association for oil and natural gas production companies, to tour drilling and fracking sites.

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also connected to:

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When she worked for Congress, MacGregor went on a $3,747 congressional trip paid for by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, an oil pipeline transportation company, to visit Alaskan oil pump station sites.

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also connected to:

National Ocean Industries Association (Resource Development on Public Lands)

National Ocean Industries Association, an offshore industry group, has praised MacGregor for orchestrating a myriad of congressional hearings and drafted key legislation aimed at expanding access both onshore and offshore.

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also connected to:

Natural Gas Lobby (Resource Development on Public Lands)

While working for Congress, MacGregor coordinated with other congressional committees, state officials, industry executives, and associations on legislative efforts on hydraulic fracturing.

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also connected to:

Background Information

Previous Employers

Additional Background on Employers of Note:

Kate MacGregor was a registered lobbyist in 2006, and lobbied the federal government on behalf of the City of Aztec, NM, Sandoval County, NM, and the Fairfax County, VA, Water Authority.

Kate MacGregor, in 2006, worked as a registered lobbyist at Alcalde & Fay. While at Alcalde & Fay she lobbied the federal government on behalf of the City of Aztec, NM, Sandoval County, NM, and the Fairfax County, VA, Water Authority. Alcade & Fay reported a total of $120,000 from these three clients during 2006.

[United States Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database search for Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/01/17 and Legistorm Bio for Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/20/17]

From 2011 to 2015, Kate MacGregor worked as a member of the Republican Legislative Staff on the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

From 2011 to 2015, Kate MacGregor worked as a member of the Republican Legislative Staff on the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, where she “craft[ed] and implement[ed]” a “legislative agenda” to “advance U.S. oil and gas development on federal lands,” and coordinated with state officials and industry executives on “legislative efforts” on “Outer Continental Shelf energy development, hydraulic fracturing, greenhouse gas emissions, pipeline/infrastructure needs, [and] streamlining federal regulations.”

From 2011 to 2015, Kate MacGregor worked for Representative Doug Lamborn as a member of the Republican Legislative Staff on the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, and in April 2015 was promoted to Senior Professional Staff Member.

[Legistorm Bio for Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/20/17]

In her time working for the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, Kate MacGregor focused “on oil and gas issues and pipeline infrastructure issues on federal lands.” In particular, while working on the Subcommittee, MacGregor: “craft[ed] and implement[ed]” a “legislative agenda” to “advance U.S. oil and gas development on federal lands”; advised “Members of Congress and Congressional Staff on issues related to U.S. onshore and offshore energy policy and revenue streams related to exploration and production activities”; and coordinated with “other Congressional committees, state officials, industry executives, and associations” on “legislative efforts” on “Outer Continental Shelf energy development, hydraulic fracturing, greenhouse gas emissions, pipeline/infrastructure needs, [and] streamlining federal regulations.”

[Department of the Interior, FOIA Response, 06/07/17, and Kate MacGregor, The Next Infrastructure Challenge: Conversation with Kate MacGregor and Brandon Mooney, YouTube, 05/14/15, 01:20]

While Kate MacGregor worked on Capitol Hill, the oil and gas industry paid for her to take trips to visit oil and gas sites in Pennsylvania and Alaska.

She also won an award at a congressional reception sponsored by Alpha Natural Resources and ExxonMobil, that was hosted by BP America.

Kate MacGregor, in 2014, went on a $3,747 congressional trip paid for by Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. to visit Alaskan oil pump station sites in Anchorage, Deadhorse, Galbraith Lake, and Valdez.

[Legistorm bio for Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/20/17]

In 2016, Kate MacGregor went on a $1,100 congressional trip paid for by the American Exploration and Production Council, a trade association for oil and natural gas production companies, to tour drilling and fracking sites in Tunkhannock, PA.

[Legistorm bio for Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/20/17 and “American Exploration and Production Council,” Bloomberg, accessed 02/01/17]

Kate MacGregor, in 2013, attended and won an award at the Congressional Recess Shoot-Out, a congressional staff reception sponsored by Alpha Natural Resources and ExxonMobil, and hosted by BP America.

[“August Recess Shoot-Out Draws Hundreds to Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Event,” Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Press Release, 08/07/13]

Financials

Financial Disclosure

Department of the Interior salary: $131,767

[Katharine M.F. MacGregor, ProPublica’s Trump Town, accessed 03/15/18]

Current Activity

  • Cimarex Energy

MacGregor helped oil firm Cimarex Energy Company expedite its drilling permit with BLM.

In March 2017, the firm filed an application to begin fracking on a flat area of farmland in a Western Oklahoma oil patch. Cimarex encountered problems with its application for a drilling permit with BLM and was supposed to wait for an additional 60 days for its revised application to undergo a review. Additional issues included an environmental assessment that had not been reviewed by the BLM office in Oklahoma and a required archeological report.  Cimarex contacted the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), which then got in touch with MacGregor, then an aide to then-Secretary Ryan Zinke. 

MacGregor took Cimarex’s permit issue to Michael Nedd, then acting-BLM director and “bypassing layers of civil service expertise.”  After Nedd reported an “expedited review” for the permit was underway, the permit was granted sixteen days later. 

[“Trump Interior nominee fast-tracked a ‘deficient’ drilling permit,” Center for Investigative Reporting, 11/04/19]

  • Freedom Of Information Act Requests

MacGregor participated in at least eight meetings about FOIA production, with two meetings on October 4th. 

Other meetings were dated September 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th, October 4th and November 7th and 14th, all in 2018. 

[Kate MacGregor March 2018-November 2018 calendar, accessed 10/09/19]

  • America First

MacGregor defended Trump’s “America First Energy Agenda” at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing, saying that free markets would decide “where and when energy development on public lands is feasible”.

When testifying in front of the HNRC Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on access to oil and gas development on federal lands, then-Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Kate MacGregor defended Trump’s America First Agenda in her statement MacGregor claimed: “America First Energy Plan is an “all-of-the-above” plan that includes oil and gas, coal, and renewable resources.  Public lands are integral to the development of these important energy resources. Through this plan, America’s free markets will help determine where and when energy development on public lands is feasible. In order to respond to our Nation’s energy needs, the BLM [Bureau of Land Management] is engaged in a variety of efforts to support domestic production.” 

[Kate MacGregor Statement on Examining Access to Oil and Gas Development on Federal Lands, 06/29/17]

  • Comments on the Bureau Of Land Management

MacGregor made multiple comments on how the Bureau Of Land Management could make oil and gas drilling easier for industry.

During her testimony to the HNRC Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on access to oil and gas development on federal lands, then-Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Kate MacGregor outlined how BLM could make oil and gas drilling easier for industry. According to MacGregor, “BLM-managed public lands provide a diverse marketplace for industry and play a significant role in creating jobs for hardworking Americans.” She claimed that under then-Secretary Ryan Zinke, “the Department and the BLM have taken many proactive measures to reduce the burdens associated with developing onshore oil and gas resources on public lands.” MacGregor also said both BLM and the Trump administration “remain committed to promoting responsible oil and gas production that helps create jobs, promotes a robust economy, and contributes to America’s energy independence, while also protecting consumers, public health, and sensitive public land resources and uses. The BLM’s oil and gas leasing program is a critical component of the Nation’s energy infrastructure and is an important Federal revenue generator.”

[Kate MacGregor Statement on Examining Access to Oil and Gas Development on Federal Lands, 06/29/17]

  • Involvement in stopping a government-funded public-health study in Appalachia.

Under the Obama administration, an independent study of the health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia was initiated. According to emails, MacGregor played a significant role in having the study halted. On August 17th, 2017, MacGregor sent an email to Glenda Owens, then the acting director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation (OSMRE) asking if the study was postponed. Owens responded, saying that the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (which was scheduled to conduct the study) would be contacted by phone and letter.

In a later email, MacGregor wrote to Owens, saying “”Glenda – Let me know how the call goes tomorrow after it is made.” On August 18th, 2018, Owens sent the letter ordering the study halt to the National Academies and forwards the letter to MacGregor.

MacGregor’s calendars showed that in both April and May 2017 she held six meetings with the National Mining Association. In March and June of the same year, she had met with Arch Coal, which had been performing mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia. 

[“A TOP DOI OFFICIAL HAD AT LEAST SIX MEETINGS WITH THE MINING INDUSTRY. SHE THEN HELPED CANCEL A STUDY ON THE PUBLIC-HEALTH EFFECTS OF MINING.”, Pacific Standard, 06/11/18]

  • Meetings with industry

Between January 2017 and January 2018, MacGregor reportedly met over 100 times with groups or representatives from extractive industries. Some of the meetings MacGregor held involved industries and organizations that would later directly benefit from agencies that were under her purview.

According to MacGregor’s travel records, she met with organizations including the Nevada Mining Association (NMA), the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association (NMOGA) and the Consumer Energy Alliance and attended events including NMA’s annual convention, NMOGA’s annual meeting, the Grand Junction Petroleum And Mining Club presentation between January 2017 and March 2018.

[“A TOP DOI OFFICIAL HAD AT LEAST SIX MEETINGS WITH THE MINING INDUSTRY. SHE THEN HELPED CANCEL A STUDY ON THE PUBLIC-HEALTH EFFECTS OF MINING.”, Pacific Standard, 06/11/18, Katharine MacGregor Calendars, January 20, 2017 to March 6, 2018, Department of Interior Staff Travel, Part 1, Page 1614-1717]

  • Meetings with Former Clients of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt

According to MacGregor’s calendars, between September 2017 and November 2018, MacGregor participated in at least 12 meetings that included five former clients of current Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

[“The David Bernhardt Scandal Tracker,” Outside Magazine, 04/19/19]

National Ocean Industries Association

According to MacGregor’s calendars, she met with NOIA representatives on November 8, 2017, January 26, 2018, February 12, 2018, April 11, 2018 and July 24, 2018.

[Kate MacGregor November 2017 calendar, accessed 10/09/19, Kate MacGregor January 2018 calendar, accessed 10/09/19, Kate MacGregor February 2018 calendar, accessed 10/09/19, Kate MacGregor April 2018 calendar, accessed 10/09/19, Kate MacGregor July 2018 calendar, accessed 10/09/19]

Statoil/Equinor

According to MacGregor’s calendars, she met with Statoil Public and Regulatory Affairs Manager Foster Wade on December 18th, 2017 and on March 22, 2018, she met with Statoil Wind representatives. Statoil changed its name to Equinor on March 15th, 2018.

[Kate MacGregor December 2017 calendar, accessed 10/09/19, LinkedIn profile for Foster Wade, accessed 10/09/19, Kate MacGregor March 2018 calendar, Equinor Press Release, 03/15/18]

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Shreck

MacGregor met with BHFS representatives on March 15, 2018, March 22nd, 2018 and July 11, 2018. 

On September 12, 2017, she met with representatives from the U.S. Oil and Gas Association. 

She met with Cobalt International Energy Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Lynne Hackedorn on September 14, 2017. 

[Kate MacGregor March 2018-November 2018 calendar, accessed 10/09/19, Kate MacGregor September 2017 calendar, accessed 10/09/19, Kate MacGregor September 2017 calendar, accessed 10/09/19]

Other Information

At a June 2017 meeting of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), Kate MacGregor was portrayed as a “reliable friend” of the oil industry and was someone special interest groups could call when they encountered problems.

IPAA Political Director Dan Naatz “portrayed MacGregor as a reliable friend of the industry” in remarks at the meeting. He said “‘I’m sure half the people in this room know Kate MacGregor – she worked on House Resources Committee. She is over at Department of Interior doing a great job.’”

During his comments, Naatz recounted a conversation with the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) where numerous problems were named: “And there were a number of issues that came up and they said, ‘We’ll call Kate.’ Next issue: ‘Well, we’ll call Kate.’ Next issue: ‘Well, we’ll call Kate.’”

Naatz responded “‘Kate is one person, guys, she can’t do all that.’ And they [WEA] said, ‘Well, we know Kate well.’” 

[“Trump Interior nominee fast-tracked a ‘deficient’ drilling permit,” Center for Investigative Reporting, 11/04/19]

Kate MacGregor has been invited to give “off-the-record” presentations to at least one petroleum association.

In April 2017, a petroleum association invited MacGregor to present on “how DOI (Department of the Interior) plans to reverse some of the damaging regulations from the prior administration.” The presentation was to be “closed-door, off-the-record” one to the association’s “government affairs strategy group” or lobbyists. Interior did not respond as to whether MacGregor did speak at the event.

[“Trump Interior nominee fast-tracked a ‘deficient’ drilling permit,” Center for Investigative Reporting, 11/04/19]

Kate MacGregor has supported expanding oil and gas drilling.

The National Ocean Industries Association, an organization that lobbies for oil and gas companies and expanding offshore drilling, says MacGregor orchestrated a myriad of “congressional hearings and drafted key legislation aimed at expanding access both onshore and offshore.” MacGregor has also praised legislation that would allow oil pipelines to be built through National Park Service land.

According to the National Ocean Industries Association Kate MacGregor, while she worked on the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, orchestrated a myriad of “congressional hearings and drafted key legislation aimed at expanding access both onshore and offshore.”

[“Katharine Sinclair MacGregor,” National Ocean Industries Association, accessed 02/01/17]

In May 2015, Kate MacGregor said that she was “really excited about” the National Energy Security Corridors Act. She said the legislation would be a “new way to look ways we can streamline permitting on federal lands” and praised it for allowing pipelines to pass through national parks. This bill would allow the Interior Secretary “to negotiate rights of way for natural gas pipelines across National Park System lands and require the designation of at least 10 such corridors within two years.” Currently, it “takes an act of Congress every time a pipeline needs to cross federally-owned land.” This legislation would also “allow the Interior secretary to designate corridors without first completing the type of review required under the National Environmental Policy Act.”

[Kate MacGregor, The Next Infrastructure Challenge: Conversation with Kate MacGregor and Brandon Mooney, YouTube, 05/14/15, 18:10, Jasmin Melvin, “House panel moves pipeline rights-of-way bill ahead,” Platts Gas Daily, 06/12/15, Michael Martz, “Dominion says no ‘easy fixes’ remain to transport natural gas,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 09/19/15, and John Hamlin, “Four Oaks mayor testifies in Washington on natural gas bill,” The News & Observer, 06/01/15]

Kate MacGregor has consistently liked and made comments on Facebook in support of pro-oil and gas policies and in support of Republican politicians who are pro-oil and gas.

She has liked a post that claimed Obama-era coal regulations are “undermining US competitiveness and are not working to curb global emissions,” and one that claimed fracking “poses no ‘widespread, systemic’ harm to drinking water.”

In 2015 Kate MacGregor “liked” a post from Alaska Rep. Don Young criticizing the Obama administration for canceling offshore oil leases in Alaska’s Arctic waters. Representative Young said the administration’s actions had “scared off investment at the expense of the Alaskan people.”

[Facebook like by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

Kate MacGregor, in 2014, “liked” a Facebook post from the Congressional Western Caucus saying the national monument designation at Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico was part of President Obama’s “plans to continue to seize Western lands by misusing the Antiquities Act.” The post alleged that President Obama had plans to “seize 130-140 million acres of land (roughly the size of Colorado and Wyoming combined) in the West.”

[Facebook like by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

In 2015 Kate MacGregor “liked” a Facebook post from the Congressional Western Caucus saying that fracking “poses no ‘widespread, systemic’ harm to drinking water.”

[Facebook like by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

In 2014 Kate MacGregor “liked” a Facebook post from the Congressional Western Caucus criticizing Obama-era coal regulation. The post claimed that “regulations proposed by the administration are undermining US competitiveness and are not working to curb global emissions.”

[Facebook like by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

In 2014 Kate MacGregor “liked” a Facebook post from the Congressional Western Caucus that said the “shale energy revolution is bringing back American manufacturing jobs.”

[Facebook like by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

Kate MacGregor, in 2014, posted a photo of a pipeline to her Facebook page. In response to a question about what it meant, MacGregor commented, “it means more American soft power.” She also Tweeted the photo, saying it was a pump station on the Alyeska pipeline.

[Facebook post by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17 and Tweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

Kate MacGregor has extensively tweeted her support of the oil and gas industry.

She repeatedly retweets comments by Shell, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and ExxonMobil, and she has also tweeted criticism of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Obama-era regulations on oil and gas production on public lands.

Kate MacGregor has retweeted Chevron posts that promote Chevron’s pro-oil agenda at least eight times.

[Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17, Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17, Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17, Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17, Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17, Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17, Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17, and Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

Kate MacGregor retweeted an ExxonMobil tweet claiming the Trans Alaska Pipeline is “one of the greatest engineering feats of its time.” [Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

Kate MacGregor retweeted a post about oil production by ConocoPhillips.

[Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

Kate MacGregor retweeted a Shell Oil post that said offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is “integral to [the] US economy.”

[Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

Kate MacGregor retweeted an op-ed from the Oil and Gas Journal that claimed the Obama administration’s methane rule would “‘cripple stripper and marginal well owners and operators.'”

[Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

Kate MacGregor retweeted an article comparing the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the sinking of the Titanic. The article claimed Rob Bishop’s Protecting America’s Recreation and Conservation (PARC) Act would restore the “true intent of the law and promises a new era of unprecedented opportunity.”

[Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17 and “LWCF: As Told by the Titanic,” U.S. Committee on House Natural Resources, accessed 02/20/17]

Kate MacGregor tweeted her support for lifting the crude oil export ban, claiming it would “be a boon to the U.S. economy” and “result in increased U.S. production.”

[Tweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17 and Tweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]

Kate MacGregor shared a tweet linking to an article about then-ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson “mock(ing) renewable energy in [a] shareholder speech.” The tweet links to a Politico article covering Rex Tillerson’s disparaging remarks about climate change and renewable energy.

[Tweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17 and Adam Lerner, “ExxonMobil CEO mocks renewable energy in shareholder speech,” Politico, 05/27/15]

Kate MacGregor retweeted an Institute for Energy Research tweet claiming that “‘coal is good for humanity.'”

[Retweet by Kate MacGregor, accessed 02/24/17]