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Alternate Member, Mineral/Energy Stakeholder, Royalty Policy Committee

Kathleen Sgamma is an alternate member of the Department of Interior’s Royalty Policy Committee, and as a member of this committee advises Secretary Zinke “on policy and strategies to improve management of the multi-billion dollar, federal and American Indian mineral revenue program.”

Kathleen Sgamma is President of the Western Energy Alliance (WEA), “a Denver-based oil and gas trade association representing energy companies working in the Rocky Mountain region.” WEA’s “members include Devon Energy, Halliburton and Anadarko Petroleum, which specialize in extracting oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.” Before becoming the group’s president in December 2016, Sgamma worked for 10 years as WEA’s vice president for government and public affairs.

Prior to joining WEA in 2006, Sgamma “spent eleven years in the Information Technology sector, including managing the European consulting practice for a software vendor, and three years as a Military Intelligence Officer in the US Army.” Sgamma holds a B.S. from MIT and an M.S. in Information Systems from Virginia Tech.

Sources: [Department of Interior, Press Release, 09/01/17, Cathy Proctor, “New leader named for Denver-based oil and gas trade group,” Denver Business Journal, 12/01/16; Eric Lipton, “Hard-Nosed Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: ‘Win Ugly or Lose Pretty’ [Column],” The New York Times, 10/31/14; Western Energy Alliance, accessed 09/29/17; Kathleen Sgamma LinkedIn Profile, accessed 09/29/17]

Special Interests

Western Energy Alliance (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Sgamma is the President Western Energy Alliance (WEA), "a Denver-based oil and gas trade association representing energy companies working in the Rocky Mountain region."

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Political Connections

Kathleen Sgamma has donated over $14,000 to Republican candidates and Western Energy Alliance’s PAC.

 Since 2010, Kathleen Sgamma has donated over $14,000 to Republican candidates and Western Energy Alliance’s PAC.

[Political Moneyline Search for Kathleen Sgamma, CQ, accessed 12/06/17]

Other Information

Kathleen Sgamma claimed that drilling on public lands has “‘an infinitesimal impact on climate change’” and that oil and gas “‘provides more climate benefits than wind and solar combined.’”

Kathleen Sgamma said that “drilling for oil and gas on public lands” has “‘an infinitesimal impact on climate change.’” [Matthew Brown, “Court revives dispute over energy leasing’s climate impacts,” Associated Press, 09/01/15]

Kathleen Sgamma claimed that oil and gas “‘provides more climate benefits than wind and solar combined.’” [Brian Maffly, “Activists cite climate impacts to demand end to all BLM leasing,” The Salt Lake Tribune, 11/17/15]

Kathleen Sgamma supported the Utah Public Lands Initiative, which was criticized by environmental groups because it could open “public lands to drilling while offering them little meaningful protection.” Sgamma praised the initiative in a statement issued by the Western Energy Alliance: “‘After working with Congressmen Bishop and Chaffetz and a broad range of Utah stakeholders, we are proud to be part of this important milestone,’” she said.

Kathleen Sgamma supported the Utah Public Lands Initiative, which was criticized by conservation groups because it could open “public lands to drilling while offering them little meaningful protection.” Sgamma praised the initiative in a statement issued by the Western Energy Alliance: “‘After working with Congressmen Bishop and Chaffetz and a broad range of Utah stakeholders, we are proud to be part of this important milestone,’” she said. [Western Energy Alliance, Press Release, 01/20/16; Brian Maffly, “Conservationists decry Utah’s Public Lands Initiative, say draft hides ‘poison pills,’The Salt Lake Tribune, 01/22/16]

The Western Energy Alliance (WEA) has repeatedly questioned the data and scientific methods used by the government and “tried to discredit scientists working with federal agencies.” Kathleen Sgamma claimed that peer review is “normally a rigorous scientific process,” but, when “used by federal agencies for endangered species listing decisions,” “is spin for asking somebody in a close circle of friends to approve your work.” She said that the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) “can count on its ‘friends’ in a tight circle of scientist-activists who won’t point out something that’s inconvenient to it.” Sgamma also claimed that a Department of the Interior analysis was “probably done by the Sierra Club.”

The Western Energy Alliance has “tried to discredit scientists working with federal agencies.” WEA even “went so far as to publish and then criticize the emails of Pat Diebert, a federal employee whose findings displeased the industry.” [Jimmy Tobias, “Crude tactics worked against the sage grouse [Opinion],” High Country News, 02/10/15]

Kathleen Sgamma wrote that peer review is “normally a rigorous scientific process,” but, “when used by federal agencies for endangered species listing decisions,” “is spin for asking somebody in a close circle of friends to approve your work.” Sgamma said that WEA filed FOIA requests “to get data that should have been made public but the federal government was withholding” on the sage grouse listing decision. After receiving the information, “a coalition of 19 counties and many other stakeholder groups analyzed it and determined the peer review process lacked scientific rigor and integrity.” Sgamma believes that federal agencies used “faulty information that ignores a large body of scientific literature on the sage grouse.” [Kathleen Sgamma, “Help From My Friends, Part 1: Distorting the Peer Review Process,” Western Energy Alliance, 05/15/15]

Kathleen Sgamma argued that “examining sage-grouse science that’s supposedly peer reviewed, it’s increasingly clear that federal agencies are pointing the finger at oil and natural gas as a major impact on the species and proposing very severe restrictions instead of facing all too real threats.” Sgamma claimed that the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) was involved in “a seemingly willful effort to downplay the impacts of natural predators to the sage grouse.” Sgamma asked rhetorically, why FWS “downplayed the impact of predation,” suggesting that “it’s easier just to blame an industry than actually solve a problem itself.” Sgamma claimed that “the agency can count on its ‘friends’ in a tight circle of scientist-activists who won’t point out something that’s inconvenient to it.” [Kathleen Sgamma, “Help From My Friends, Part 3: Agencies Ignoring Predation,” Western Energy Alliance, 06/05/15]

On January 15, 2016, Sgamma tweeted, “Like other ‘independendent analyses’ used by @Interior to justify policies, the #coal #GHGs analysis was probably done by the Sierra Club.” [Tweet by Kathleen Sgamma, 01/15/16, accessed 09/29/17]

Katlheen Sgamma, in January 2016, sympathized with the “ranchers in the vicinity of the now-occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,” who “were slowly pushed out by bureaucrats intent on expanding the size of the refuge.” She also wrote that the Hammonds “were harassed by federal officials over many years until ultimately they were prosecuted and convicted for setting a back fire that accidentally burned a small portion of BLM lands.”

Kathleen Sgamma, in January 2016, wrote a blog post on the WEA website that sympathized with the Bundys and the “ranchers in the vicinity of the now-occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,” who “were slowly pushed out by bureaucrats intent on expanding the size of the refuge.” She states that “Ammon Bundy and his posse are serious lawbreakers whose actions I completely condemn,” but “the federal abuses leading us to this sorry situation today deserve honest attention and systemic change.” Sgamma argues that “the situation [at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge] arises from too much federal ownership of land in the West” and that “like ranchers, energy workers are being driven from the land.” She also writes that the Hammonds “were harassed by federal officials over many years until ultimately they were prosecuted and convicted for setting a back fire that accidentally burned a small portion of BLM lands.” [Kathleen Sgamma, “Oregon Standoff, Energy, and Federal Abuses,” Western Energy Alliance, 01/08/16]

Kathleen Sgamma called National Geographic “expert propagandists.”

On December 21, 2015, Kathleen Sgamma tweeted that National Geographic “are expert propagandists,” in reference to their TV Show “Fracking Hell.” [Tweet by Kathleen Sgamma, 12/21/15, accessed 09/29/17]

Kathleen Sgamma claimed that the American Lung Association “has lost scientific and professional objectivity when it comes to the effects of ozone and other air emissions on asthma” and is “used as a tool by the environmental lobby.”

Kathleen Sgamma, in a Western Energy Alliance blog post, criticized the American Lung Association for its testimony at a BLM hearing. Sgamma wrote, “While we’d all like to think ALA is a noble organization working on public health, the truth is that it has lost scientific and professional objectivity when it comes to the effects of ozone and other air emissions on asthma.”

The American Lung Association, according to Sgamma, “is often used as a tool by the environmental lobby to make exaggerated claims about our industry’s effects on public health, and indeed, the ALA representative at the hearing made alarmist claims about the asthma causing effects of benzene and climate change, none of which are supported by actual science.” [Kathleen Sgamma, “Countering Misinformation at the BLM Venting and Flaring Hearing,” Western Energy Alliance, 03/02/16]