Chris Saeger

Trump’s First 100 Days: A top ten list of public land attacks, cronyism, ethical failures & irresponsible energy policies

Number 1: Trump & Zinke Aim to Kill Teddy’s Legacy It was 110 years, 10 months, and 20 days ago Teddy Roosevelt signed one of his hallmark pieces of legislation, the Antiquities Act, that protected millions of acres of public land, cultural history, historic places, and important artifacts from decades of looting, desecration, and destruction. […]

Statement on Scandal Plagued DOI Deputy Secretary Nomination Bernhardt

Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project released the following statement in response to news that David Bernhardt has been nominated as Deputy Secretary of the Interior: “There are a million reasons why David Bernhardt shouldn’t get this job, and even more questions about his previous tenure at Interior, and in the private […]

Zinke/Trump Attack on Public Lands Silences Rural America

During the White House press briefing on President Trump’s executive order to review national monuments, Secretary Zinke was called out over the positive economic impacts of public lands and national monuments in this administration’s latest attack on rural America. “Zinke’s and Trump’s reckless order to review National Monuments will lead to shrinking and even possibly […]

Roosevelt fanboy Zinke poised to gut landmark Roosevelt legislation

Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project, released the following statement in response to reports that the Trump administration intends to review recent designations of national monuments: “Secretary Zinke is apparently a willing pawn in a Manhattan real estate developer’s plan to open up iconic landscapes to drilling and mining. We’ve got a […]

ICYMI: Nevada Lands Council Board Member Buzzetti Laments Chinese; Makes Derogatory Comments

During an appearance on the Trent Loos Podcast, Rachel Buzzetti, one of the top leaders of the Nevada Lands Council (NLC), lamented that Chinese people own land near Yellowstone and made derogatory comments about Chinese tourism. Here’s what she had to say: Buzzetti: “…We were visiting a little more and they [locals who live in […]

Potential Trump pick for top post a peddler of fake news

Donald Trump’s rumored top pick to run the Council on Environmental Quality’s is the author of a wholly unfounded claim that has been used repeatedly to justify excessive oil and gas development on American public lands. Kathleen Hartnett White is a former environmental regulator in Texas Governor Rick Perry’s administration. CEQ has wide influence over […]

BLM plans fail to meet Roosevelt test

Plans for Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s Bureau of Land Management just surfaced in Energy and Environment and the news isn’t good for anyone hoping the Bureau would take a truly balanced approach to public land management. The plans are long on border security and fossil energy development, but short on conservation priorities that […]

Zinke adds proponent of pipelines in parks to Teddy Roosevelt all-stars

Secretary of the Interior and self-proclaimed “Teddy Roosevelt conservationist” Ryan Zinke has just named another bona fide member of the Washington DC special interests swamp to a top position at the Department of the Interior — the latest in a long line of Washington insiders to join the Trump administration.   Kate MacGregor, a former lobbyist, […]

Teddy vs. Zinke

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke wants you to think he’s just like Teddy Roosevelt. What he does about the Bears Ears will prove if he’s just blowing smoke. Throughout his career as a politician, Ryan Zinke has told anyone willing to listen that he’s cut from the same cloth as the iconic conservation pioneer, […]

Western Values Project Calls on Senate to Press Perdue on his Troubling Record and Conflicts of Interest

Today, Western Values Project called on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture to press Sonny Perdue on his record during his hearing to be Secretary of Agriculture. The Western Values Project — an organization that works to further the national conversation around public land use and conservation. – sent a letter to the U.S. Senate […]

FACT CHECK: New Mexico’s new energy chief is dangerously wrong on basic science, and it could cost New Mexico taxpayers dearly

Over strong objections, Kenley McQueen was confirmed as secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department on Wednesday.  During his contentious confirmation hearing, he displayed a shockingly out-of-touch view of many of the areas for which he is now responsible, something that should worry every New Mexican concerned with public lands and […]

WVP: Zinke must reject energy donors to match Roosevelt legacy

Whitefish, Mont. – Following the confirmation of Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary, Executive Director of the Western Values Project released the following statement: “Secretary Zinke will tell anyone who is willing to listen, besides maybe his donors in the oil industry, that he’s just like conservation hero Teddy Roosevelt. Here’s what we have to say […]

Trump’s “America First” energy plan shouldn’t leave taxpayers behind

Last week, The Trump administration released its “America First Energy Plan” which, among other things, promises to expand oil and gas production on federal lands across the West. For those of us are concerned about the sweetheart deals oil companies have often gotten from drilling on public lands, this sets off some alarm bells. But if […]

How to help in 2017

With the new year, comes new challenges. We have a lot of work to do to keep our Western lands protected. We have you covered so that you can fight to keep your elected officials accountable. Over the past year, Washington tried to halt our strides time and time again. When some members of Congress […]

Historic Moab planning decision makes public lands a level playing field

Finalized today by the Bureau of Land Management, the Moab Master Leasing Plan (MLP) represents a historic achievement for the small businesses and citizens of Moab, Utah. After decades of conflict over leasing and drilling, Moab now has a detailed, comprehensive plan to guide future energy development on its public lands, one that will safeguard […]

The BLM should treat oil companies like it treats Terry Tempest Williams

The BLM recently announced that it would not issue two federal oil and gas leases purchased by the well-known conservationist Terry Tempest Williams. To justify its decision, BLM cited a requirement that federal leases be “diligently developed,” and, through her public statements, Williams had made it clear that she had no intention to actually drill […]

Wyoming Legislative Report Throws Major Shade at Public Land Takeover Agenda

Major doubts about the feasibility and viability of the public land takeover agenda were raised in a thorough – and costly – report commissioned by the Wyoming State Legislature and released to the public on October 18th. The report, which cost Wyoming taxpayers a whopping $75,000, detailed numerous obstacles to the state taking over the […]

Time for Western AGs to publicly oppose land transfer

A recently disclosed Conference of Western Attorneys General report concludes that lawsuits by states attempting to force the transfer of federal public land to states stands little chance of succeeding in the courts based on previous court cases and rulings. The reports of the analysis reveal an incredibly thorough legal repudiation of the land transfer movement’s arguments for […]

Outdoor industry CEOs back the administration’s record on public lands

An impressive group of 27 CEOs of some of the largest outdoor recreation companies sent a letter to President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell with one clear message: Thank you for promoting cleaner energy policies and protecting America’s $646-billion outdoor recreation economy! President Obama understands that access to clean and unspoiled public lands drives the […]

Congressman Bishop fails to work with the administration… and predictably blames the administration.

  Congressman Rob Bishop has repeatedly blamed the federal government for not listening to him or others about land protections and National Monuments. But it turns out that Bishop is the one not willing to communicate – and his stubbornness could force President Barack Obama into creating a National Monument to protect Bears Ears. On more […]

Bishop ignores worried constituents at his 6 town halls, calls them a “pain in the butt”

A series of town halls intended to shore up flagging support for the embattled Public Lands Initiative backfired on Congressmen Rob Bishop as constituents continued to press him over the ill-fated and divisive bill. Even as his constituents brought up serious concerns, Bishop simply wouldn’t listen to the opposing views. During the six town halls […]

Oil and gas industry still refuses to be accountable, even when NASA catches their hands in the cookie jar

In 2014, NASA found a Delaware-sized methane ‘hot spot’ hanging over the Four Corners region of the southwestern U.S. This area is also home to a high density of oil and gas development. Last week, NASA released a follow-up study, finding a direct link between oil and gas activity in the San Juan Basin and […]

Seeking: NMOGA Executive Director, questionable ethics and experience pandering to industry required

News that New Mexico Environment Secretary, Ryan Flynn has left his political appointment to potentially head an oil and gas interest group reads like a “What Not to Do” chapter out of an ethical handbook. (Update — Flynn was awarded the job as NMOGA Executive Director late on Friday, September 2nd.)  The New Mexico Oil and […]

Fact-check: Herbert’s team wrong on the facts, and on the wrong side of Moab MLP

Utahns from across the spectrum—small business owners, local officials, conservationists, and sportsmen and sportswomen—have hailed progress on the BLM’s proposed Master Leasing Plan as a model for how to plan for energy development on public lands. Unfortunately, Gov. Gary Herbert’s is ignoring this diverse set of voices and calling for a return to the days […]

ConocoPhillips wants a pat on the back, while still wasting millions of taxpayer dollars

Recently, ConocoPhillips tooted its own horn by touting the success of its natural gas waste capture programs. While we applaud ConocoPhillips’ steps towards reducing natural gas waste, there’s an omission that is the elephant in the room— ConocoPhillips is still the largest natural gas emitter in the US. Each year, ConocoPhillips emits the equivalent of […]

While Debt Ceiling Looms, Lawmakers Brainstorm Other Ways to Bankrupt States

This afternoon, Utah Congressman Rob Bishop’s Congressional “Federal Land Action Group” (FLAG), is holding a forum to discuss options for transferring federal lands back to state control. What the group won’t address, however, is that the idea of land transfer is hugely costly to states and taxpayers, is unpopular across the board with the public and would significantly restrict access to American public lands. At a time when […]

FACT CHECK: Refuting industry claims about the BLM rule to combat wasted natural gas

Lobbyists for big oil companies held another press conference today to spread false and misleading claims about the impacts of the BLM’s rule to cut back on natural gas that is wasted from oil production on national public lands. Here’s another refutation of the same tired industry talking points: MYTH: Implementing the rule will cost too much […]

Bears Ears is a Monument because Rob Bishop couldn’t pass the Public Lands Initiative

 Utah politicians like Rob Bishop are whining that President Barack Obama acted unilaterally in declaring the Bears Ears area a national monument. They only have themselves to blame because they could not pass a legislative alternative. Congressman Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative was supposed to be that alternative, and Obama administration officials even told him they […]

Interior Secretary prospect Ryan Zinke’s Super PAC raises questions about ethics and self-dealing

For a man nominated to lead an agency with over 70,000 employees and a budget surpassing $20 billion, Ryan Zinke’s management resume includes some pretty questionable ethical practices that raise significant questions about his ability to manage conflicts of interest at the Department of Interior. Can the American people expect more of the same, or […]

Ken Ivory’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

Like his fellow Utah land-grabber Rob Bishop, 2016 was not kind to Utah state legislator and American Lands Council co-founder Ken Ivory. His $14 million taxpayer funded fantasy land-grab lawsuit has been resoundingly criticized, the organization he founded to push his land transfer agenda is hemorrhaging memberships, and the apparent Interior Secretary under President Trump […]

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