Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Departed Interior Sec. Zinke Under Investigation by DOJ

Politics
Ryan Zinke at Fort Peck, Montana in June of 2018. U.S. Department of the Interior

The Justice Department is looking into whether former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lied to investigators at the Department of Interior, The Washington Post reports. Anonymous sources tell the Post that investigators at the Interior's inspector general's office raised the issue with the DOJ after suspecting Zinke may have lied during questioning over his real estate deals in Montana and his review of a Native American casino project in Connecticut.


The Justice Department has not yet decided whether Zinke should face legal action, the Post reports. Zinke, who left the agency Wednesday following a series of high-profile scandals, denied the allegations to the Associated Press, blaming conservation groups for creating a "playbook" designed to use "frivolous allegations, sources, rumors, innuendo and false accusations" to boot him and other Cabinet members from office.

As reported by The Washington Post:

"Zinke, who submitted his resignation last month, had faced intense pressure to step down because of the probes into his conduct, though President Trump had soured on him for other reasons, too, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. In particular, this person said, Trump was upset Zinke would not challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in last year's election and over how Zinke handled the administration's plan to expand offshore drilling.
Last January, Zinke flew to Florida and, without consulting the White House, announced in a news conference with then-Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) that Interior would exempt the state from offshore drilling. The move raised ethics questions, along with an outcry from other governors whose coastal states were affected by the plan."

The Associated Press reported that Zinke blamed conservation groups such as Montana Conservation Voters and Western Values Project for making it "impossible for Zinke and other Trump Cabinet members to serve."

"A representative of Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund, Whitney Tawney, noted that the group had endorsed Zinke when he was a state lawmaker but expected more out of him in terms of protecting natural resources.
'The accusation that groups like Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund made his job impossible proves once again that he's continuing to point fingers at anyone he can instead of accepting responsibility for his own failures,' Tawney said."

For a deeper dive:

The Washington Post, AP

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Shawna Foo

Anyone who's tending a garden right now knows what extreme heat can do to plants. Heat is also a concern for an important form of underwater gardening: growing corals and "outplanting," or transplanting them to restore damaged reefs.

Read More Show Less
Malte Mueller / Getty Images

By David Korten

Our present course puts humans on track to be among the species that expire in Earth's ongoing sixth mass extinction. In my conversations with thoughtful people, I am finding increasing acceptance of this horrific premise.

Read More Show Less
Women sort potatoes in the Andes Mountains near Cusco Peru on July 7, 2014. Thomas O'Neill / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Alejandro Argumedo

August 9 is the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples – a celebration of the uniqueness of the traditions of Quechua, Huli, Zapotec, and thousands of other cultures, but also of the universality of potatoes, bananas, beans, and the rest of the foods that nourish the world. These crops did not arise out of thin air. They were domesticated over thousands of years, and continue to be nurtured, by Indigenous people. On this day we give thanks to these cultures for the diversity of our food.

Read More Show Less
A sand tiger shark swims over the USS Tarpon in Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Tane Casserley / NOAA

By John R. Platt

Here at The Revelator, we love a good shark story.

The problem is, there aren't all that many good shark stories. According to recent research, sharks and their relatives represent one of the world's most imperiled groups of species. Of the more than 1,250 known species of sharks, skates, rays and chimeras — collectively known as chondrichthyan fishes — at least a quarter are threatened with extinction.

Read More Show Less
The Anderson Community Group. Left to right, Caroline Laur, Anita Foust, the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, and Bill Compton, came together to fight for environmental justice in their community. Anderson Community Group

By Isabella Garcia

On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.

Read More Show Less
Berber woman cooks traditional flatbread using an earthen oven in her mud-walled village home located near the historic village of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco, Africa on Jan. 4, 2016. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. /NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Jason Flatt

The world's Indigenous Peoples face severe and disproportionate rates of food insecurity. While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Danny Choo / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Olivia Sullivan

One of the many unfortunate outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the quick and obvious increase in single-use plastic products. After COVID-19 arrived in the United States, many grocery stores prohibited customers from using reusable bags, coffee shops banned reusable mugs, and takeout food with plastic forks and knives became the new normal.

Read More Show Less