Running out of Lobbyists to Hire, “Dinky” Zinke Turns to Land Transfer Zealots for Top Interior Posts

by as published on Western Values Project

“…he is shaping the BLM to overwhelmingly favor the oil and gas industry at the expense of Western public lands…”

This week has seen leaders in the land seizure movement gaining traction at the Interior Department. Brian Steed, the former Chief of Staff to leading land seizure advocate Utah Congressman Chris Stewart, was appointed the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management. Meanwhile, Karen Budd-Falen, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s top pick to become the permanent head of BLM, will bring her land seizure road show to Hamilton, Montana today.

Plus, a scathing profile on James Carson, the associate deputy secretary at Interior, revealed how he is shaping the BLM to overwhelmingly favor the oil and gas industry at the expense of Western public lands. According to The Nation, “He wrote the Federal Register notice announcing the department’s controversial review of 27 national monuments, and he has been granted virtual carte blanche to set policy as it relates to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.”

Zinke Accountability Roundup:

Today, Politico’s cartoonists married the growing influence of the oil and gas industry at Interior with Zinke’s zeal for changing the department’s flag. Yesterday, The Washington Post exposed Zinke’s reckless and ethically questionable flying habits. On Tuesday, Huffington Post detailed his affinity for using taxpayer money for interior design à la taxidermy. Meanwhile, Sen. Dick Durbin is still not happy with Zinke’s national monuments review.

Department of Interior Roundup:

A former Interior employee is suing the department for refusing to release information concerning his own reassignment and that of several of his former colleagues. Meanwhile, a Senate staffer offered inside information on the likely reduction of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. While information continues to leak out, the review process has been largely hidden from the public thus far.

Trivia: What current Interior nominee vocally supported drilling off the Virginia coastline while serving as Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources?

A)    Doug Domenech

B)    Jason Larrabee

C)    Aurelia Skipwith

D)    Austin Ewell

Answer: A) Doug Domenech! Currently the nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Insular Affairs, Domenech called the potential Atlantic oil reserves like “‘looking at a bunch of Christmas gifts that are wrapped.’” Read more about him here.

5 comments on “Running out of Lobbyists to Hire, “Dinky” Zinke Turns to Land Transfer Zealots for Top Interior Posts

  1. I get the feeling that this guy & others like him are digging a hole and don’t know enough to STOP digging!!!!! But HE will be fine – the rest of us folks who are dragged into the hole with him?? Not so much.

    Like

  2. Letter from Patagonia (a few excerpts)

    Dear Secretary Zinke,

    As Secretary of the Interior, you hold the solemn responsibility to steward America’s public lands and waters on behalf of the American people who own them. Our public lands, including the National Monuments you are now reviewing, represent a vital part of our nation’s heritage—a legacy that belongs not just to us, but to all future generations of Americans. It is an important part of your job to safeguard this legacy by making careful and informed decisions about what federal lands can be used for development and what special or vulnerable areas should be preserved for the future.

    A recent study showed that areas in the West with protected lands consistently enjoy better rates of employment and income growth compared to those with no protected lands. In the 22 years since the Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah was declared a National Monument, jobs grew by 38 percent in two neighboring counties. The designation of 17 national monuments-including nine monuments covered under your review-led to significant increases in per capita income in regions adjacent to the newly-protected areas.

    Patagonia has been outfitting outdoors people and protecting public lands for more than thirty years. The debate over land and water conservation is always complex and sometimes divisive. But we have never witnessed the legacy of America’s federal lands encountering greater risk than we see right now. As you visit these protected places and report back to the president, I urge you to follow in the tradition of President Teddy Roosevelt and conserve our shared public lands for future generations.

    Sincerely,

    Yvon Chouinard
    Founder
    Patagonia, Inc.

    Rose Marcario
    President & CEO
    Patagonia, Inc.

    https://www.patagonia.com/blog/2017/05/letter-to-secretary-of-the-interior-ryan-zinke-from-yvon-chouinard-and-rose-marcario/

    Liked by 1 person

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