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Oil and gas companies flare natural gas that cannot be processed or sold. Varodrig / Wikimedia Commons

Trump Lets Fracking Companies Release More Climate-Warming Methane

As expected, the U.S. Department of the Interior on Tuesday released a final rule that reverses Obama-era restrictions on methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

President Obama's 2016 methane waste rule, which never went into effect, required fossil fuel companies on tribal and public lands to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that's about 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. It called on drilling operators to capture leaking and vented methane and to update their leak-detection equipment.

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Moose at North Dakota's Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge can be legally killed for the first time this hunting season. FWS

Zinke Increases Hunting and Fishing Areas in 30 Wildlife Refuges

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is expanding or opening hunting in 30 National Wildlife Refuges, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced Friday.

The move will open more than 251,000 acres and raise the total number of places where hunting is permitted to 377 and where fishing is permitted to 312. The expansion will be in effect in time for the 2018-2019 hunting season.

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The Keystone XL pipeline would pass through Montana as it transports crude oil from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. Andrew Burton / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Native Groups Sue to Stop Keystone XL

Two indigenous groups are suing the Trump administration in an attempt to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, NPR reported Monday.

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A part of Bears Ears that was lopped off partly due to the work of Downey Magallanes, who will move to BP after Labor Day. U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Interior Adviser to Join BP After Pushing to Open National Monuments to Fossil Fuel Development

A Department of the Interior (DOI) official who played an important role in opening public lands to fossil fuel interests has left the federal government to accept a job at BP, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Former DOI Deputy Chief of Staff Downey Magallanes led the review that resulted in Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's plan to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah by 85 and 46 percent respectively, Think Progress pointed out.

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Melania Trump attends a Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention summit at the Health Resources and Service Administration Aug. 20 in Rockville, Maryland. Getty Images

Melania Trump's National Park Service Birthday Tweet Sparks Backlash

Melania Trump celebrated the National Park Service's (NPS) 102nd birthday at a White House event on Saturday. In a tweet, she thanked NPS for its "commitment to this country!"

The Internet, however, was quick to point out her husband's efforts to roll back protections of our public lands in his push to open them up for mining, drilling and other exploitative operations.

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke talks to journalists outside the White House West Wing before attending a Trump cabinet meeting on Aug. 16. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Zinke Announces Plan to Fight Wildfires With More Logging

The Trump administration announced a new plan Thursday to fight ongoing wildfires with more logging, and with no mention of additional funding or climate change.

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U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke working with Sequoia Kings Canyon NPS fire crew on a burn pile to rid mechanically cleared fuel. U.S. Department of the Interior

Ryan Zinke: Climate Change Has 'Nothing to Do' With California Wildfires

Much like his boss, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will blame anything but climate change for California's ongoing wildfires and insists that clearing trees will help reduce the risk of fires spreading.

"I've heard the climate change argument back and forth," Zinke, who is currently touring communities devastated by the massive Carr Fire, told Sacramento's KCRA. "This has nothing to do with climate change. This has to do with active forest management."

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Bees like this one could be harmed by the lifting of a ban on neonicotinoids in national wildlife refuges. Mark Winterbourne / CC BY 2.0

Trump Admin Reverses Ban on 'Bee-Killing' Pesticides in National Wildlife Refuges

The Trump administration has lifted an Obama-era ban on the use of genetically modified crops and pesticides linked to bee decline in certain national wildlife refuges where farming is allowed, Reuters reported Saturday.

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Trump Admin. Quietly Awards Dozens of Lion Trophy Permits to Hunters, GOP Donors

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued more than three dozen permits for hunters to bring back lion trophy parts from Zimbabwe and Zambia between 2016-2018, according to copies of the permits obtained by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The documents were obtained by Friends of Animals and reported by Huffington Post on Thursday. Thirty-three hunters received a total of 38 lion trophy permits, according to the animal advocacy nonprofit.

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