Top Interior Department officials recently visited the Kaktovik and Utgiagvik communities in northern Alaska to let them know that the agency will publish in the coming weeks a notice in the Federal Register of its intent to move toward an environmental impact statement on planned leasing, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
At the CERAWeek energy industry conference in Houston this week, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he's "pro-energy across the board" but made it clear that he's in favor of oil and gas over other types of domestic energy production.
According to Bloomberg, Zinke praised the Trump administration's push for fossil fuels, from expanding offshore oil drilling to slashing regulations. He also advocated for a partnership with oil and gas companies.
Even though Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke insisted "this is not about energy," environmentalists and public lands advocates have long suspected the Trump administration's cuts to national monuments were driven by its push for more drilling, mining and other development.
Now, internal Interior Department documents obtained by the New York Times show that gaining access to the oil, natural gas and uranium deposits in Bears Ears and coal reserves in Grand Staircase-Escalante were indeed key reasons behind President Trump's drastic cuts to the two monuments in Utah.
Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was voted the worst member of the Trump administration, according to the latest, albeit unscientific, poll from New York Times op-ed columnist Gail Collins.
Last month, the liberal/progressive journalist and winner of this year's George Polk Award for commentary, asked readers to "select the worst Trump minion." Collins quipped, "No fair saying everybody."
Congressional Republican lawmakers have set record lows on the 2017 League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scorecard, released Tuesday.
The LCV, which has been scoring lawmakers' actions on environment, public health and climate issues for nearly 50 years, awarded Senate Republicans a record low average 1 percent score, with 46 Senators receiving a score of zero—meaning "they voted against the environment and public health at every opportunity" in 2017.
Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke is the winner of the Center for Biological Diversity's 2017 Rubber Dodo award. The statue is awarded each year to the person or group who has most aggressively sought to destroy America's natural heritage or drive endangered species extinct.
"Ryan Zinke seems to wake up every day wondering how he can tear apart America's public lands, ramp up oil and gas development and put endangered species on a fast track to extinction," said Kierán Suckling, the Center for Biological Diversity's executive director.
Judge William Orrick of the U.S. District Court for Northern California ruled Thursday that Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) decision to suspend core provisions of the 2016 Methane and Waste Prevention Rule was "untethered to evidence."