“William Perry Pendley’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Land Management has been withdrawn and while President Trump offered no explanation for withdrawing Pendley’s nomination, it seems he didn’t have the votes necessary for Senate confirmation. The Senate Democrats were united against him and a few GOP Senators found themselves in an election year hot seat and being pressed to weigh in on Pendley’s unpopular position on selling off public lands (not to mention his record of racism and disdain for the “other” BLM, Black Lives Matter).
The backlash against Pendley and his radical ideas has been building. It began on September 26, 2019, when a dozen leading Senators wrote to the Interior Secretary opposing Pendley’s continued role atop the Bureau. Then, in late December, 91 conservation groups demanded he step down. In May of 2020, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and Western Watersheds Project sued to remove Pendley for overstaying interim director term limits, and Montana Governor Steve Bullock followed suit with a lawsuit of his own. Trump then decided to circumvent the lawsuit by nominating Pendley to the permanent position, but Pendley’s 2017 comments denigrating the Black Lives Matter movement resurfaced, and soon the writing was on the wall. The nomination was withdrawn, but Pendley remains at the helm in his unlawful “acting” capacity.”