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Killing Wild Horses & Burros is NOT Enough, Zinke Now Puts Cross-Hairs on U.S. Taxpayers

Press Release from Center for Western Priorities

Zinke stacks the deck against the working American public

DENVER—Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today announced members of a new “Royalty Policy Committee” which will advise the Interior Department on how to “modernize” public land management.

The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:

“Talk about stacking the deck. This committee is hand-picked to give oil, gas, and coal companies what they want while ripping off taxpayers. The committee members from ‘Academia and Public Interest Groups’ don’t represent a single public interest group. The political members of the committee represent Republican governors, while states with Democratic governors don’t get a seat at the table.

“When Secretary Zinke took office, he inherited a department that had already taken large steps toward modernizing America’s oil and gas royalty rates, ensuring taxpayers get their fair share for resources owned by the American people. Under his leadership, the Interior Department has rolled back all of those programs, and replaced it with an advisory group that has collectively dedicated hundreds of years to drilling and mining on public lands and waters without regard for our air and water, or the best interests of taxpayers.”

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  1. Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning “rule by thieves”.

    Liked by 1 person

    (excerpt below)

    “The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a lobbying group for the country’s largest meat producers, doesn’t like the Clean Water Rule because it places limits on where its members can dump their manure. Meat producers are constantly being fined for violating EPA regulations. Between 2008 and 2016, the agency conducted 1,981 inspections of concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, where thousands of animals are kept in always crowded, often unsanitary, and generally nightmarish conditions. The agency found 413 violations of environmental regulations in those inspections, which means that about one in five inspections led to a prosecution.

    Keep in mind that those prosecutions were for violations that predate the Clean Water Rule. The problem with the meat industry isn’t a sudden expansion of federal power—the problem is that it’s never been able to follow basic environmental rules. The industry’s response should be to clean up its act. Instead, it has poured more than $100,000 into lobbying in an attempt to change the rules.

    If one in five commercial aircraft inspections resulted in a prosecution, would you want to reform the industry or relax the rules? If one in five inspections of daycare inspections resulted in a prosecution, would you want to reform the daycare system or relax the rules?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hadnt received this from NRDC yet! But I did make my feelings known as to how I feel! Dont expect much, because the comments are being sent to the Pres & Pruitt! But sometimes venting helps (me, that is).


  3. Featured News Releases August 31, 2017 by Jayson O’Neill

    NEW POLL: Zinke’s popularity tanks as Montanans learn about monuments review

    Zinke sees 7 point drop in job approval after announcing plans to alter national monuments The Western Values Project released the results of a new poll showing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s popularity falling in his home state of Montana. The survey, conducted just after his recommendation to shrink national monuments was released, shows Zinke with […]


  4. Yep…pitchforks are being sharpened. The People are NOT pleased.

    Government investigators close the file on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s threatening phone calls, fail to provide any answers

    The Western Values Project (WVP) filed suit requesting documents from the Department of the Interior related to threats Secretary Ryan Zinke made to Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. The suit comes after the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the department abruptly ended an investigation into the incidents. The Interior Department has failed to fulfill a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by WVP in July.
    A copy of the suit is available here.

    “Government investigators may give up when officials refuse to talk, but we will not,” said Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project. “First Secretary Zinke used his office to do the bidding of political cronies, and now it appears he is using it to shut down investigations. Is this Washington, D.C. or Moscow? We will not allow Secretary Zinke or the Interior Department to sweep this under the rug and pretend it is politics as usual. This is just another example of how Zinke has given up his Montana values to do the bidding of special interests in Washington.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Featured Releases Reports July 7, 2017 by Chris Saeger
    Rigged: Deadbeat tenants

    Industry loves to complain about regulatory burdens and “red tape” on federal public lands. The reality, however, is that these same companies are systematically exploiting loopholes, subsidies and other special advantages that they enjoy. The system is actually rigged in such a way that allows companies to lease millions of acres of public lands for free, cheating taxpayers out of untold revenues and locking out other public lands users in the process.

    Loopholes. Loopholes everywhere.

    Normally, to maintain a federal lease, companies have to do one of two things – drill and generate royalty payments or pay rent annually. This requirement ensures that taxpayers are always gaining some revenue and compensation for use of their publicly owned lands and resources.
    But through two major loopholes – lease “suspensions” and lease “reinstatements” – oil and gas companies have found clever ways around this requirement. The truth is that companies can squat on federal leases for months, years and even decades, without paying a single dime to taxpayers.
    Lease Suspensions – Rent-Free Leasing


  6. “In fact, rural western counties with more than 30 percent protected public lands have seen the number of jobs increase by 345 percent as compared to areas without protected lands.”

    Executive Summary

    This report, “West Is Best: How Public Lands in the West Create a Competitive Economic Advantage” (4.7MB PDF) finds that the West’s popular national parks, monuments, wilderness areas and other public lands offer its growing high-tech and services industries a competitive advantage, which is a major reason why the western economy has outperformed the rest of the U.S. economy in key measures of growth–employment, population, and personal income–during the last four decades.

    In addition, as the West’s economy shifts toward a knowledge-based economy, new research shows that protected federal public lands support faster rates of job growth and are correlated with higher levels of per capita income.

    General findings:

    Higher-wage services industries, such as high-tech and health care, are leading the West’s job growth and diversifying the economy.
    Entrepreneurs and talented workers are choosing to work where they can enjoy outdoor recreation and natural landscapes.
    Increasingly, chambers of commerce and economic development associations in every western state are using the region’s national parks, monuments, wilderness areas and other public lands as a tool to lure companies to relocate.
    High-wage services industries also are using the West’s national parks, monuments, wilderness areas and other public lands as a tool to recruit and retain innovative, high-performing talent.

    Specific points:

    From 1970 to 2010, the West’s employment grew by 152 percent compared to 78 percent for the rest of the country.
    This western job growth was almost entirely in services industries such as health care, real estate, high-tech, and finance and insurance, which created 19.3 million net new jobs, many of them high-paying.
    Western non-metropolitan counties with more than 30 percent of the county’s land base in federal protected status such as national parks, monuments, wilderness, and other similar designations increased jobs by 345 percent over the last 40 years. By comparison, similar counties with no protected federal public lands increased employment by 83 percent.
    In 2010, per capita income in western non-metropolitan counties with 100,000 acres of protected public lands is on average $4,360 higher than per capita income in similar counties with no protected public lands.

    Click to access West_Is_Best_Full_Report.pdf


  7. Public Lands and Climate Change

    Climate Change and Western Public Lands: a Survey of U.S. Federal Land Managers on the Status of Adaptation Efforts
    Kelli M. Archie 1,2,3, Lisa Dilling 1,2,3, Jana B. Milford 4 and Fred C. Pampel 5
    1Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (CSTPR), 2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), 3and Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado, Boulder, 4Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, 5Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder

    “Prior work suggests that more robust leadership in natural resource management can facilitate improved transitioning to new management styles (Danter et al. 2000, Koontz and Bodine 2008). Danter and others (2000) suggest that successful implementation of ecosystem management in natural resources requires more leadership-oriented agency governance than was required under prior management models. The long-term goals of ecosystem management are similar in scope to those of climate change adaptation efforts, and thus the same type of leadership changes may help to facilitate improved adaptation implementation.”

    The barriers identified in our research are consistent with those found by the GAO in 2009.



    DOI Royalty Policy Committee Does Not Include Any Taxpayer Advocates
    September 01, 2017

    Today Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the appointees to the newly reformed Royalty Policy Committee. In March, Secretary Zinke issued a new charter for the Committee and solicited nominees through early July. Among the nominees was Taxpayers for Common Sense, president, Ryan Alexander.

    In response to the announcement Alexander issued the following statement:
    “The fair and accurate collection of royalties is vitally important to ensuring taxpayers receive the revenues they are due from the natural resources we all own. For decades, federally owned resources, managed by the Department of Interior, have been inadequately valued and royalties have been under collected, shortchanging taxpayers of billions of dollars in valuable revenue.
    I am disappointed that neither I nor any other taxpayer advocate was appointed to the Committee. A committee dedicated to reviewing the policies that determine if taxpayers are fairly compensated for our assets should include an advocate dedicated to taxpayers. We hope the new committee will put aside their private or professional interests and put the nation’s resource owners-federal taxpayers- first.”

    The first meeting for the Committee is scheduled for October 4th and is open to the public.


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