White House Watch

Biden Interior’s No. 2 Official Steps Down After Facing Massive Eco-Activist Pressure Campaign |


A top official in the Department of the Interior (DOI) will leave his post after he was the subject of a large eco-activist pressure campaign in September, the DOI announced Wednesday.

Interior Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau will leave his job as the department’s number two later in October, the DOI announced. Beaudreau drew the ire of environmentalists for his support of the Willow Project in Alaska, with members of Climate Defiance targeting him five times in a single day while he was in New York City for climate-related events in September.

Beaudreau worked for the DOI for almost seven years during the Obama administration before working for a private law firm during the Trump years, according to DOI. He returned to DOI as the second-highest ranking official in the agency after the Biden administration assumed power in 2021, and the Senate confirmed him by a 88-9-3 vote in June of that year.

“I love the Interior Department, and it has been the greatest honor and responsibility of my career to serve as Secretary (Deb) Haaland’s deputy in the Biden-Harris administration,” Beaudreau said of his departure. “I will always cherish the opportunities I’ve had to work with the best career staff in federal service and diverse communities across the United States to help figure out solutions to some of the most challenging problems facing our country.”

Beaudreau delivered the official March announcement that the Willow Project would proceed, according to The Hill. Haaland opposed the project while serving as a Representative from New Mexico prior to taking over at DOI, but she defended the agency’s March decision in April.

Climate Defiance, which vigorously opposed Beaudreau’s support of the Willow Project and harangued him while he was in New York City, celebrated the announcement of his departure. “Tommy is not the first person forced out and will not be the last,” the group said in a Twitter post, adding that “anyone not explicitly on our side will be treated as an opponent. Fuck around, find out, baby!”

Climate Defiance is a grantee of the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), a nonprofit organization that receives donations from numerous wealthy American liberals and then shells those funds out to dozens of disruptive eco-activist groups across the world. Some of CEF’s donors include “Succession” actor Jeremy Strong, Hollywood writer Adam McKay and Hillary Clinton’s Onward Together Foundation, according to CEF’s 2022 annual report.

DOI, Climate Defiance and the White House all did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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