Ryan Zinke Would ‘Sell His Grandkids For Big Oil,’ Says Washington Governor

“This man works for us. We do not pay him to give us false information..”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee slammed Ryan Zinke’s record on the environment Thursday, saying the interior secretary would “sell his grandchildren for big oil,” the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

The Democratic governor’s office told HuffPost that he hasn’t yet received any response to his comments from Zinke — or from the White House.

A frustrated Inslee criticized Zinke during a visit to a Seattle elementary school, where he talked about protecting Washington’s environment, climate change, and the air pollution being triggered by ongoing wildfires, the Seattle newspaper reported.

He upbraided Zinke for downplaying the role of climate change and blaming “extreme environmentalists” for the ever-worsening fire seasons in the West. “With climate change, you have a hotter, drier climate, Mr. Zinke. You have fires,” Inslee said. “What is there about this that you cannot comprehend?”

He added: “This man works for us. We do not pay him to give us false information. We get enough of that from the president.”

Inslee, surrounded by schoolchildren, scoffed that Zinke would “flunk any science test that these kids take,” the news outlet reported.

Inslee expanded on his comments about Zinke and his grandchildren to HuffPost on Friday. “Given the damage being done to our grandchildren’s future and his refusal to act against climate change, I call for Secretary Zinke to resign,” the governor said in a statement.

Zinke was instrumental in gutting Utah’s Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. The public lands stripped of protection are now open to private logging, drilling and mining operations. (The Trump administration reportedly just scrapped a proposal to sell off more than 1,600 acres of previously protected land at Grand Staircase-Escalante.)

The governor’s harsh comments came in the wake of Zinke’s controversial trip to California communities devastated by wildfires last Sunday. The Interior secretary said that the solution to fires was to remove trees and that California was burning because environmentalists were keeping loggers out of public forests.

Earlier in the month, Donald Trump in a tweet blamed the state’s “environmental laws” — the most protective in the nation — and accused California of wasting water for firefighting by “diverting” it to the Pacific Ocean (where the state’s water naturally flows). California fire officials responded that they had plenty of water from lakes where the fires were burning. Trump also urged: “Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!”

Trump’s tweet came just days after his administration moved to scrap tough vehicle emission standards led by California, which experts say would exacerbate climate change.

Critics have accused both Trump and Zinke of weaponizing the tragedy of the wildfires to open up national forests to logging companies and to pressure California to give more water to its Central Valley farmers, where the Republican Party holds much of its support. Trump has yet to issue a word of condolence to the families of fire victims, nor a word of comfort to people whose homes and communities have been devastated.

Inslee spoke out at the Seattle school and in interviews Thursday to push for Initiative 1631, a climate change measure on Washington’s November ballot that would make the state the first in the nation to charge polluters a fee for the right to release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“We need to attack climate change at its source, which is carbon pollution, and fortunately we have a way to do that,” Inslee said in a KOMO-TV Channel 4 interview.

Inslee, referring to increased pollution in the Seattle area due to wildfire smoke, added: “Remember this smoke because where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there’s climate change, there’s a lot more forest on fire … we are now breathing in climate change.”

26 comments

  1. How “sad” is it that the Sec./Interior doesnt comprehend the fact that more & more people are pushing more and more into the natural environment? Sounds as if this Governor has his head on straight – hope his bill passes, but I bet theres going to be a battle over it. So Zinke’s answer to the fires is to log more forests – which are benefiting us & graze more cattle preferable on Monument land! I agree with the Governor!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree with governor Inslee …
    “Given the damage being done to our grandchildren’s future and his refusal to act against climate change, I call for Secretary Zinke to resign”.

    I cannot imagine anyone saying this … but …
    “accused California of wasting water for firefighting by “diverting” it to the Pacific Ocean.” (WHERE THE STATE’S WATER NATURALLY FLOWS).

    And here is another major piece of the air and water pollution puzzle that most politicians refuse to acknowledge:
    Animal agriculture is the second largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after fossil fuels and is a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution and biodiversity loss.

    https://climatenexus.org/climate-issues/food/animal-agricultures-impact-on-climate-change/

    Like

  3. News flash: if you cut down all the trees the grass fires will be even bigger and spread faster in arid environments (see Cheatgrass). Cutting forests and lacing them will bulldozed roads is a guaranteed way to permanantly alter watersheds and wildlife, but I guess if a few people get rich doing this it’s okay to rob the public treasury–and make us pay for all this at the same time? Scottie, beam me up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “As organizers of the “Stand for Our Land” rally, we made several attempts to request fair dialogue with the secretary about our diverse concerns, as did other leaders in our community, including our local elected officials, but to no avail. Zinke clearly has no interest in listening to any voices who might challenge his narrow perspective on public lands, unless it is with a military veteran who is quite literally ready to fight for energy. But if he thinks his agenda will go unchallenged, he’s got another thing coming.”

    https://www.steamboatpilot.com/opinion/cody-m-perry-why-we-stand/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. DJT clearly failed any science classes he might have attended. His comments reveal astonishing ignorance of the hydrologic cycle, and the implied assumption CA should capture all its water and keep it from running downhill in its diverse watersheds and fisheries is beyond ludicrous. How hopeful to learn that the kids in Washington State are seeking a better future than dying for oil in foreign wars. Hope they create a human Tsunami for a better future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup – “former seal” & acting commander in Iraq”? Really dont see what that has to do with this fire. But we can all relax – HE is going to “actively manage our forests”. Does he really think that removing forests will stop these fires? The problem is more & more development.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Cloud the Stallion FACEBOOK
    August 17

    The Cloud Foundation FILED A LEGAL ACTION today to stop the planned removal of 18 horses up on top of the Pryor Mountains. This removal would destroy the genetic viability of this world famous & historic herd. CALL your senators and congressmen & voice your opposition to this removal. Click here to find their phone #’s: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Most of the Carr Fire is on private or USFS land, not under the purview of the DOI but the US Dept. of Agriculture. Some parts are managed by the National Park Service, which Zinke has ruthlessly gutted since taking office.

    “The Trump administration, however, has sought tens of millions of cuts to Interior Department and USDA budgets that help fund forest management activities. And many on the left complain the president’s systematic rollback of environmental protections will worsen climate change, which scientists say has contributed to the hot, dry conditions bedeviling California and other Western states.”

    Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article216386115.html#storylink=cpy

    Like

  8. This is rich (literally):

    Big oil asks government to protect it from climate change, especially in Texas

    “The plan is focused on a stretch of coastline that runs from the Louisiana border to industrial enclaves south of Houston that are home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of petrochemical facilities, including most of Texas’ 30 refineries, which represent 30 percent of the nation’s refining capacity.

    Texas is seeking at least $12 billion for the full coastal spine, with nearly all of it coming from public funds. Last month, the government fast-tracked an initial $3.9 billion for three separate, smaller storm barrier projects that would specifically protect oil facilities. …

    But the idea of taxpayers around the country paying to protect refineries worth billions, and in a state where top politicians still dispute climate change’s validity, doesn’t sit well with some.

    “The oil and gas industry is getting a free ride,” said Brandt Mannchen, a member of the Sierra Club’s executive committee in Houston. “You don’t hear the industry making a peep about paying for any of this and why should they? There’s all this push like, ‘Please Senator Cornyn, Please Senator Cruz, we need money for this and that.'”

    Normally outspoken critics of federal spending, Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz both backed using taxpayer funds to fortify the oil facilities’ protections and the Texas coast. Cruz called it “a tremendous step forward.” …

    Construction in Texas could begin in several months on the three sections of storm barrier. While plans are still being finalized, some dirt levees will be raised to about 17 feet high, and 6 miles of 19-foot-tall floodwalls would be built or strengthened around Port Arthur, a Texas-Louisiana border locale of pungent chemical smells and towering knots of steel pipes.

    The town of 55,000 includes the Saudi-controlled Motiva oil refinery, the nation’s largest, as well as refineries owned by oil giants Valero Energy Corp. and Total S.A. …

    he second barrier project features around 25 miles of new levees and seawalls in nearby Orange County, where Chevron, DuPont and other companies have facilities. The third would extend and heighten seawalls around Freeport, home to a Phillips 66 export terminal for liquefied natural gas and nearby refinery, as well as several chemical facilities. …

    Protecting a wide expanse will be expensive. After Harvey, a special Texas commission prepared a report seeking $61 billion from Congress to “future proof” the state against such natural disasters, without mentioning climate change, which scientists say will cause heavier rains and stronger storms.

    Texas has not tapped its own rainy day fund of around $11 billion. According to federal rules, 35 percent of funds spent by the Army Corps of Engineers must be matched by local jurisdictions, and the GOP-controlled state Legislature could help cover such costs. But such spending may be tough for many conservatives to swallow.

    Texas “should be funding things like this itself,” said Chris Edwards, an economist at the libertarian Cato Institute. “Texans are proud of their conservatism, but, unfortunately, when decisions get made in Washington, that frugality goes out the door.”

    https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/texas/article/Big-oil-asks-government-to-protect-it-from-13174178.php

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess its just more important & urgent to protect oil & gas refineries from climate change (which they are partially responsible for) as long as its the taxpayers who shell out! No word about protection for people and their communities? That certainly makes clear the priorities of the industry & their cohorts in Congress!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Also this, actual sales leading to removal of wild horses in Utah:

    “H.R. 5727 is a huge concern

    In fact, the UT land trades and sales to SITLA are very concerning. BLM is giving land to UT SITLA, and we are finding out now that it is creating checkerboard areas. This creates a problem.

    In Emery County UT, specifically but not exclusively, they traded or sold lands that were set aside (withdrawn) for other land use plans. The parcels sold were within wild horse Herd Areas creating a checkerboard of public, state/state lands. Now, SITLA sued BLM/DOI to get horses of SITLA lands. The case was dismissed when they reached an agreement, that agreement is to remove horses!

    This has been an underhanded way for UT to take over portions of public lands, and for ranchers and extractive industry to deal with a century-old issue, wild horses, and other wildlife that are in the way.
    These land exchanges to states must stop and must be investigated. I believe that Congress not only needs to vote against H.R 5727/ Senate 2809 because it takes us a huge step backward in protecting critical wilderness areas, but also because it does not and has not been done with consultation of the tribes, and it is solely commercial interest driven. This is common throughout UT and some other western states.”

    https://citizensagainstequineslaughter.org/2018/08/21/caes-rambling-thoughts/

    Like

  10. VIDEOS

    Utah Tar Sands Resistance
    Resisters and High School students attend SITLA board meeting
    Posted on December 21, 2017

    A group of concerned persons attended the monthly SITLA board meeting to speak during the public comment period. Here are some videos of folks speaking at the meeting in November.

    Mr. Lonnie Bullard a member of the SITLA board of trustees takes time during the monthly meeting to insult the students, who are the beneficiaries of the trust, and the other folks who spoke. Some of the students who spoke were not even offered chairs in the mostly full room. They were attending the meeting at 9 am likely missing some school classes, to speak during the 10 min public comment period which occurs at the beginning of the 2-3 hour meeting. Mr Bullard insulted the students for leaving before the meeting ended. I pointed out that the students likely had to return to high school. He also criticizes “people who choose to spend the time in tents and on lines” for wanting a magic wand.

    http://www.tarsandsresist.org/category/video/

    Like

  11. Interesting since it’s clear grazing interests want — and get — magic wands pretty much on demand. Witness here the SITLA land swaps/sales and subsequent removals of wild horses from what were their legal areas. It would be logical to include in those swaps some new acreages where horses could be relocated, but these of course seem always to be holding corrals and the highway to hell in the slaughter plants.

    Like

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