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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.
According to an Associated Press report:
Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, said he knew when he took over the 70,000-employee department in March that, "I got 30 percent of the crew that's not loyal to the flag."
In a speech to an oil industry group, Zinke compared Interior to a pirate ship that captures "a prized ship at sea and only the captain and the first mate row over" to finish the mission.
"We do have good people" at Interior, he said, "but the direction has to be clear and you've got to hold people accountable."
He has also reassigned senior officials to completely unrelated positions, including climate change expert Joel Clement, who was notoriously transferred to an office that oversees fees and royalty checks from oil and gas companies.
"I'm the climate change guy, and they moved me to the accounting office that collects fossil fuel royalties," Clement wrote in the Washington Post. "They couldn't have found a job less suited for me, or that sent a clearer signal that they were trying to get me to quit."
Zinke has said before that he wants to cut his department's workforce by 4,000 employees, or about eight percent of the full-time staff, as part of budget cuts to downsize the department.
During his speech to oil execs, the former Montana Republican senator said he is working to change the Interior Department's regulatory culture to be more business friendly, and is working on a major agency reorganization so that decision-making would go outside Washington, according to the AP.
The secretary also wants to move several agencies, including the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management, to states in the West.
In the same wide-ranging speech, Zinke said he wants to speed up permits for oil drilling, logging and other energy development; that the Endangered Species Act has been "abused" by bureaucrats and environmental groups and needs to be reformed to be less "arbitrary"; and, oddly, "Fracking is proof that God's got a good sense of humor and he loves us."
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Editor's note: The coronavirus that started in Wuhan has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed at least 100 in China as of Jan. 27, 2020. Thailand and Hong Kong each have reported eight confirmed cases, and five people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness. People are hoping for a vaccine to slow the spread of the disease.
By Nancy Schimelpfening
- Nutrition experts say healthy eating is about making good choices most of the time.
- Treats like cookies can be eaten in moderation.
- Information like total calories, saturated fat, and added sugars can be used to compare which foods are relatively healthier.
- However, it's also important to savor and enjoy what you're eating so you don't feel deprived.
Yes, we know. Cookies aren't considered a "healthy" food by any stretch of the imagination.
When you see an actor in handcuffs, they're usually filming a movie. But when Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, Sally Field, and other celebrities were arrested in Washington, D.C., last fall, the only cameras rolling were from the news media.
As the Pacific Ocean becomes more acidic, Dungeness crabs, which live in coastal areas, are seeing their shells eaten away, according to a new study commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).