Greenpeace plants "For Sale" sign at Interior Department. © Tim Aubry / Greenpeace
Greenpeace placed a giant sign reading “For Sale: By the US Department of Interior, Public Lands and Waters, Inquiries From Oil and Gas Companies Encouraged” outside of the Interior Department Tuesday as Sec. Zinke held an event outside the building.
Sec. Zinke and the Interior Department are currently reviewing the status of national monuments, marine sanctuaries, and protections from offshore oil and gas drilling, potentially opening up new drilling activity in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Public records highlight that Zinke’s personal schedule includes several meetings with oil and gas companies and lobbying firms including BP America, Chevron and ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute, the Western Energy Alliance and Continental Resources.
“The Trump administration and Secretary Zinke want to sell our public lands and waters away to desperate fossil fuel companies,” said Greenpeace USA Climate Campaigner Mary Sweeters.
“Secretary Zinke is meeting almost exclusively with fossil fuel lobbyists, ignoring the voices of people in this country who want to see our public lands, national monuments, and waters protected, not exploited. It’s clear that unless you are an executive at Exxon or the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, Zinke’s Interior Department will most likely not listen to you.”
The Senate will vote on David Bernhardt, the pick for deputy secretary of the Interior, this week. As head of law and lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s natural resource department, David Bernhardt has most likely led most of the the firm’s energy and mining and work and a significant chunk of his clients are oil and gas companies.