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Video Shows Oil Company's Plans to Drill Arctic From Artificial Island

The Liberty Project has posted a video about its proposal to build the nation's first oil production platform in federal waters in the Arctic.

The video was quietly uploaded two months ago and shows Hilcorp Alaska's plan to build an artificial gravel island and undersea pipeline for its offshore drilling project in the Beaufort Sea. Frankly speaking, the five-minute clip—with its all-American voiceover and electric guitar riffs—is something you'd expect from a pickup truck commercial.

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Animals
Brant at Izembek Lagoon. Kristine Sowl / USFWS

Groups Slam Zinke's 'Backroom Deals' to Build Road Through Alaskan Wildlife Refuge

Ryan Zinke's Interior Department is working behind the scenes to build a controversial and long-contested road through the heart of Alaska's Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, documents show.

The refuge was established more than 30 years ago to conserve wetlands and habitats for migrating birds, brown bears and salmon and other wildlife. 300,000 of its 315,000 acres has been designated as Wilderness in 1980 under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

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Science
Sage grouse fight over territory on the lek during a spring mating season at Mill Creek Ranch in Gunnison, CO. Noppadol Paothong Photography

Much to Grouse About: Interior Department Calls for Changes That Could Threaten Sage Grouse Protection

By Charise Johnson

That the current administration places very little value on the merit of robust scientific evidence when considering its actions (or inactions) is no longer shocking, but it remains an intolerable practice.

In this week's episode of "How is the Trump Administration Dismantling Science-Based Protections?" we visit the Interior Department's decision to formally reconsider a widely heralded Obama-era agreement for protections of the greater sage grouse in the West.

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U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Zinke Caught Raising Political Funds During Taxpayer-Funded Trips

Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke, who is being investigated for his use of private planes on the taxpayer dime, is under fresh scrutiny for "mixing political gatherings ... during official business."

According to Interior travel records and other documents seen by POLITICO, the secretary has met with GOP donors and political groups more than a half-dozen times while on taxpayer-funded department trips, including a local Republican Party fundraiser in the U.S. Virgin Islands where donors paid up to $5,000 per couple for a photo-op with Zinke.

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Bakken shale gas flare in North Dakota. Hitting Home/Flickr

Trump Administration Ordered to Enforce Methane Restrictions, Pursues Further Delay Instead

A federal court ordered the Trump administration Wednesday to reinstate an Obama-era methane rule it stayed this summer—the same day the Interior Department made a different kind of legal attempt to further delay the rule's implementation.

The Bureau of Land Management stayed the regulations on oil and gas producers in June, following a failed vote in the Senate to repeal the rule under the Congressional Review Act. However, U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte of California ruled this week that the administration had not offered sufficient reasoning for the stay, and ordered the rule to be reinstated immediately.

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Zinke’s Monument Review: Another Gift to Oil, Gas and Coal

By Jacob Eisenberg

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has recommended that his boss, President Trump, do what no President has done before: fundamentally change and substantially diminish America's national monuments. "Energy dominance" is a theme that has permeated Zinke's statements and acts as Interior Secretary. But its conspicuous scarcity in his rhetoric around the monument review should not fool anyone into thinking that increasing the availability of fossil fuel is not a significant motivation for the administration's attack on our monuments.

Rather, fossil fuel boosters played a key role in placing the monuments in the Secretary's crosshairs. The Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, in particular, have faced a concerted campaign for their elimination by, among others, fossil fuel-linked advocates who want to open access to the oil, gas and coal resources within and around their boundaries. If the president or Congress accept Zinke's recommendations, it would be against the will and interest of the American public—a capitulation of American treasures to pad the profits of the world's richest industries.

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Ryan Zinke. Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Ryan Zinke Claims One Third of Interior Workforce 'Not Loyal' to Him, Trump and Flag

Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke, who recently recommended shrinking a "handful" of national monuments to President Trump, said that one third of the department's employees are "not loyal" to him, the president and the flag.

The remarks were made at the National Petroleum Council meeting in Washington, DC on Monday.

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Climate

Welcome to DC's #DirtyEnergyWeek

By Andy Rowell

The ultimate corporate greenwashing experience starts in Washington, DC Monday, when some of America's dirtiest polluters participate in what is being billed the "National Clean Energy Week." In the current political "post-factual" era, it would be easy to be fooled.

The promotional material sounds great. What is there not to like?

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Cedar Mesa Valley of the Gods in the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Bob Wick, BLM

Navajo Nation Readies Legal Action if Trump Shrinks Bears Ears National Monument

Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke's recommendation to reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah could spark a legal battle between the Navajo Nation and the Trump administration.

"We are prepared to challenge immediately whatever official action is taken to modify the monument or restructure any aspect of that, such as the Bears Ears Commission," Ethel Branch, Navajo Nation attorney general, told Reuters.

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