Quantcast
Politics
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke at Grand Canyon Nation Park on Sept. 22. U.S. Department of the Interior

Report: Zinke Plans to Resign, Explores Fox News, Energy Company Boards

From taxpayer-funded trips with his wife to shrinking national monuments for fossil fuel interests, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is one of President Trump's most scandal-ridden cabinet members.

Now, the embattled official, who is facing several federal investigations of alleged misconduct, could be on his way out.


POLITICO's sources said that the cabinet official plans to resign as Interior Secretary by the end of the year. They claimed that Zinke reached out to the conservative channel Fox News about potential employment, and also sought positions on energy company boards of directors or private equity firms, according to POLITICO.

The Interior's press secretary denied the report about Zinke seeking a job with Fox News, calling the rumor "laughably false and belongs in The Onion," in reference to the satirical news publication.

A network spokeswoman also told The Hill that "no one at Fox News has spoken to Zinke about a contributor role."

On Friday, Trump said that he has no plans to fire his DOI secretary but was "going to look into any complaints," The Hill reported.

Even if Zinke's future as a Fox News pundit is uncertain, many would be happy to see him out of his government job. Zinke has faced numerous calls for resignation from environmental groups and fellow lawmakers for his anti-environmental policies.

The former Montana congressman spent much of his time at the Interior opening public lands to oil and gas drilling, and was recently linked to a development project with David Lesar, the chairman of the oil giant Halliburton.

Since taking office, Zinke has racked up 17 federal investigations into his behavior, according to the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

Several of the investigations have closed but he is currently the subject of six open investigations by federal agencies and Congress, CREW said.

"After spending nearly the last two years being forced to watch Ryan Zinke sell-out our public lands and break ethical norms and possibly laws, we needed a good laugh," Sierra Club Our Wild America director Lena Moffitt said in a press release in reaction to POLITCO's report. "But as a former representative himself, Zinke shouldn't forget that the House's power of subpoena extends all the way to cable television."

Democratic New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone—who will likely be the new chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee after the Democrats took control over the House after the midterm elections— promised to "conduct vigorous oversight of the Trump Administration so Washington works again for the people not the special interests."

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Popular
The battlefield of Verdun is part of France's Zone Rouge, cordoned off since the end of WWI. Oeuvre personnelle / Wikimedia Commons

This World War I Battlefield Is a Haunting Reminder of the Environmental Costs of War

World War I ended 100 years ago on Sunday, but 42,000 acres in northeast France serve as a living memorial to the human and environmental costs of war.

The battle of Verdun was the longest continuous conflict in the Great War, and it so devastated the land it took place on that, after the war, the government cordoned it off-limits to human habitation. What was once farmland became the Zone Rouge, or Red Zone, as National Geographic reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Westend61 / Getty Images

EcoWatch Gratitude Photo Contest: Submit Now!

EcoWatch is pleased to announce its first photo contest! Show us what in nature you are most thankful for this Thanksgiving. Whether you have a love for oceans, animals, or parks, we want to see your best photos that capture what you love about this planet.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Waves from the Atlantic Ocean crash against a scenic beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This sandy peninsula is a popular summer vacation destination and is also known for its many Great White sharks. Velvetfish / iStock / Getty Images

Cape Cod’s Gray Seal and White Shark Problem Is Anything but Black-and-White

By Jason Bittel

On a sunny Saturday in mid-September, 26-year-old Arthur Medici was boogie-boarding in the waves off Wellfleet, Massachusetts, when a great white shark bit his leg. Despite the efforts of a friend who pulled him ashore and the paramedics who rushed him to the hospital, Medici died from his injuries. It's about as tragic a story as you can imagine: a young life cut short due to a freak run-in with a wild animal.

Keep reading... Show less
Renewable Energy
Max Pixel

Koch Industries Lobbies Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

By Dana Drugmand

Koch Industries is calling for the elimination of tax credits for electric vehicles (EVs), all while claiming that it does not oppose plug-in cars and inviting the elimination of oil and gas subsidies that the petroleum conglomerate and its industry peers receive.

Outgoing Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller introduced a bill in September that would lift the sales cap on electric vehicles eligible for a federal tax credit, and replace the cap with a deadline that would dictate when the credit would start being phased out.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Pexels

10 Things You Always Wanted to Know About Neonics

By Daniel Raichel

As massive numbers of bees and other pollinators keep dying across the globe, study after study continues to connect these deaths to neonicotinoid pesticides (A.K.A. "neonics"). With the science piling up, and other countries starting to take critical pollinator-saving action, here's a quick primer on all things neonics:

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Judita Juknele / EyeEm / Getty Images

Lyme Disease Expected to Surge

By Marlene Cimons

German physician Alfred Buchwald had no clue that the chronic skin inflammation he described in 1883 was the first recorded case of a serious tick-carrying disease, one that would take hold in a small Connecticut town almost a century later and go on to afflict people across the U.S.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Animals
Black rhino. Gerry Zambonini / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

China Restores Rhino and Tiger Parts Ban After International Fury

Great news from China! Following intense international backlash, the Chinese government said Monday that it has postponed a regulation that would have allowed the use of tiger bone and rhino horn for medicine, research and other purposes.

In October, China alarmed animal rights activists around the world when it weakened a 25-year-old ban on the trading of the animal parts. Conservationists said it would be akin to signing a "death warrant" for endangered tiger and rhino populations.

Keep reading... Show less
Oceans
The federal government must consider endangered species like sea otters before issue fracking permits off California's southern coast. Danita Delimon / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Judge: Wildlife Must Be Considered Before Permitting Fracking Off SoCal Coast

In what environmentalists are calling a major victory, a California judge ruled Friday that the Trump administration cannot approve any new fracking off the state's southern coast until a full review is done assessing the controversial technique's impact on endangered species and coastal resources, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!