Interior Department’s Vincent DeVito – the documents

Vincent DeVito is a Counselor to the Secretary of the Interior on Energy Policy. He was appointed by Ryan Zinke on May 1, 2017.

The following source documents reveal Vincent DeVito’s hand in policy actions taken by the Department of the Interior meant to benefit the coal and oil industries. This page contains all relevant materials obtained by Documented pertaining to Vincent DeVito.

Vincent DeVito’s Calendar from May to October 2017

DeVito’s calendar shows constant contact with oil and gas industry executives and lobbyists. In 8 months, he at met at least 5 times with ExxonMobil, and hundreds of times with other fossil industry advocates.

Vincent DeVito’s Calendars October to November 2017

Vincent DeVito’s CV as received by the Department of the Interior.

His signed Ethics Pledge is available here.

 Guidance to Mining Impacts related to Crayfishes

This document, signed by Vincent DeVito, upended months of consultation between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection regarding the Endangered Species Act. The document allows coal mining companies to avoid measuring impacts of stream pollution on endangered species of Crayfish. Due to DeVito’s signature, this document is now in use by the coal industry, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

West Virginia Mining Official Provides Vincent DeVito with Guidance

Harold Ward, then head of the Division of Mining in the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, provided the crayfish Guidance to DeVito to sign. DeVito did not clear the signing of this document with the Solicitors office or any affected agency. He did not receive or request any briefings related to the crayfish before signing the document.  It is not clear if DeVito’s signing of the Guidance is permitted under the Administrative Procedures Act.

DOI Draft Press Release on the Approval of the Berwind Mine

This draft press release contains a paragraph that does not appear in the final press release. The paragraph makes clear that the approval of a key permit regarding crayfish was dependent on Vincent DeVito’s meeting with mining executives and lobbyists.

Vincent DeVito’s Meeting with the West Virginia Coal Association

In June of 2017, DeVito traveled to West Virginia to meet with lobbyists and executives in the coal industry. His meetings with the West Virginia Coal Association occurred on June 14th and 15th. On June 16th, Ramaco Resources, a member of the West Virginia Coal Association,  requested a permit related to crayfish from the Fish and Wildlife Service. On June 19th the permit was granted.

Emails Between Coal Advocates and West Virginia DEP

Emails between WVDEP’s Harold Ward and West Virginia Coal Associations’ Jason Bostic show a close working relationship and celebration over the signing of the Guidance. Ward takes credit for getting “actionable items into the hands of the right people.”

Fish and Wildlife Service’s Approval of the Berwind Mine Crayfish Plan

FWS approved Ramaco’s permit on June 19th, days after Vincent DeVito met with the West Virginia Coal Association.

Ramaco Resources’ Crayfish Plan Sent to the Fish and Wildlife Service

This plan was sent to FWS for approval on June 16th, one day after DeVito met with the mining industry.

Vincent DeVito Meets with IPAA Regarding Texas Hornshell Mussel Listing

On June 29th, 2017,  DeVito met with fracking industry lobby group the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)

On July 12th, 2017,  IPAA asked DeVito for help with Texas Hornshell Mussel listing. 

On August 17th, 2017, IPAA thanked DeVito and Principal Deputy Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service Greg Sheehan for the delay of the listing of the Texas Hornshell mussel

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