Senior Bureau of Land Management official is a right-wing pundit who has said climate change isn’t real and diversity is killing people

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

The Bureau of Land Management has appointed William Perry Pendley, a right-wing lawyer and commentator, as its new second-in-command. On Twitter in recent months, Pendley has argued that climate science isn’t real, claimed that the “Endangered Species Act is a joke,” and asked, “How many have died and how many more will die because of diversity and race-based decision making?”

E&E News reported on July 15 that the Bureau of Land Management, which is under the Department of the Interior, appointed Pendley as the “deputy director of policy and programs. Pendley started today, a BLM spokesman confirmed. The deputy director of policy and programs is the bureau's second-highest-ranking political position, behind the director.” 

Pendley previously worked as the president of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, a conservative nonprofit that has represented clients in cases against environmentalists and the federal government. He is also a right-wing pundit who has written for publications such as the Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, and He was also an active Twitter user through his account @Sagebrush_Rebel (he wrote last week that he is “taking a break” from the social network). 

On Twitter, Pendley repeatedly attacked diversity initiatives in the United States. In response to former Minneapolis, MN, police officer Mohamed Noor's killing of unarmed 911 caller Justine Damond, Pendley wrote: “How many have died and how many more will die because of diversity and race-based decision making?” He told Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) to get over busing because he “was bused to five different elementary schools” as a child. And discussing his future agency, Pendley wrote that he was “impressed” that President Donald Trump “picked a tried, true, and experienced expert from the West” -- Interior Secretary David Bernhardt -- instead of listening to advisers who “pressed for ‘diversity’ at the top position.” (There is very little diversity in the senior positions of the Trump administration.)

Pendley also frequently attacked environmentalists and climate science, writing that climate science “is political science or junk science, not real science, and it is, as with real science, far from settled”; “#ClimateChangeIsReal NOT!”; and the “Endangered Species Act is a joke.” 

Here are some of the worst tweets from his account: 

(Pendley was responding to a Townhall commentary piece about supposed “media silence in Minneapolis over an attack executed by a group of Somali teens.” However, debunked that Townhall report, writing: “According to University of Minnesota police, the incident did not involve a physical attack, did not cause any injuries, and was not racially motivated.”)