Interior Department Disregards Public Comments, Analysis Suggests
The Trump Administration’s Interior Department has largely ignored public comment on proposed rule changes, according to an analysis from the Center for Western Priorities.
The conservation advocacy group looked at ten proposals from Interior, including the easing of offshore drilling regulations and Endangered Species Act protections. What it found was that while more than 95% of public comments were opposed to the changes, the agency still moved forward on most of them.
The group’s policy director, Jesse Prentice-Dunn, says the findings reflect “who’s being given a seat at the table.”
“You’re seeing corporations, trade associations, politically connected folks and lobbyists—those are the folks having their input really considered and taken into account,” he said.
The organization looked at proposals that garnered more than 500 public comments on the federal website regulations.gov followed by a final rule or policy. Ten rules met the criteria and were included in the analysis. While the 10 rules were opposed by between 95.9% and 99.8% of commenters, Interior advanced eight of them.