Releases

Zinke again sides with Washington lobbyists over Western states

Today, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke finally announced his intent to throw out carefully developed, bipartisan Western state sage grouse management plans. Based on the recommendations of Zinke’s handpicked sage grouse review team, we expect the Department’s new plans to mirror the requests made by oil and gas industry lobbyists. If adopted, these changes […]

Zinke orders Bureau of Land Management to suspend methane waste prevention rule

Suspension of rule will carelessly waste energy and cost taxpayers millions In another giveaway to oil and gas corporations, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and the Bureau of the Land Management (BLM) announced a proposal for the suspension of a commonsense rule to prevent the waste of natural gas. The BLM rule prevents oil […]

Lawsuit takes aim at Zinke’s attempts to politicize Interior staffing decisions

Documents show Zinke filled employee board with political cronies Following reports that Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke filled an employee board entirely with political appointees, the Western Values Project, a Montana-based public lands watchdog, filed suit in federal court to force the disclosure of documents related to the board’s activities. Politico first reported that […]

Questions for Zinke ahead of his speech to the Heritage Foundation

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is set to share his ‘vision for American energy dominance’ with the oil and gas-funded Heritage Foundation. Secretary Zinke has been aggressively working behind closed doors, without public input on public land decisions, to roll back commonsense regulations. Some facts to keep in mind during Zinke’s speech: The United […]

Zinke imposing federal mandate, throwing out state sage-grouse management plans

Interior Secretary adopts oil and gas lobbyists’ requests over collaborative state plans Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s intentions to fast-track federally mandated amendments to Western state sage-grouse plans were leaked today. Based on agency and state officials familiar with the decision, The New York Times reports that the Department of the Interior will publish a formal notice of […]

Zinke cozies up to industry reps at exclusive Washington hotel

Interior Secretary Zinke’s love of special interests on full display at the Hay-Adams Card-carrying swamp member and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today hosted an event with the National Petroleum Council at the exclusive Hay-Adams Hotel. According to the $500-per-night hotel’s website, the Hay-Adams is a “discreetly luxurious hotel destination for discerning guests.” Unfortunately, Zinke’s open pandering and favoritism for the […]

Special interests win with committee vote on Interior appointees

View Interior appointees’ profiles on www.departmentofinfluence.org The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to advance the nominations of two more special interest political appointees to powerful positions at the Department of the Interior. On a voice vote, the committee confirmed Joe Balash to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Land and Minerals Management and Ryan Nelson to be Solicitor […]

Zinke’s national monuments plan a threat to Western communities

Secretary Zinke’s secretive effort hands over thousands of acres of public lands to special interests with no accountability After weeks of secrecy, the results of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s monuments review have been revealed. Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project, released the following statement in response:  These recommendations put at risk our […]

Secretary Zinke’s “sportsmen” announcement obscures historic reductions to protected public lands

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced a proposal to supersede local on the ground land and wildlife managers to distract from his unprecedented secret recommendations to reduce the size of national monuments and protections for public land. Statement of the proposal by Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project: This announcement is […]

ICYMI: Interior caught handing over millions to Bernhardt clients

Inspector general’s report shows Bureau of Reclamation improperly gave millions in funds It didn’t take long for David Bernhardt’s record as a lobbyist to catch up with him. Now the Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Interior, Bernhardt left his job at a Washington, D.C. lobbying firm earlier this year to take the post. The Washington Post broke […]

Zinke continues to add lobbyists and DC insiders to Interior

Ahead of potential confirmation votes, check out profiles of Interior nominees at https://departmentofinfluence.org/ The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is expected to vote on the nominations of Joseph Balash and Ryan Nelson to the Interior Department. Ahead of the vote, Western Values Project has taken a look at how the revolving door continues to spin between special interests, their […]

NEW POLL: Zinke’s popularity tanks as Montanans learn about monuments review

Zinke sees 7 point drop in job approval after announcing plans to alter national monuments The Western Values Project released the results of a new poll showing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s popularity falling in his home state of Montana. The survey, conducted just after his recommendation to shrink national monuments was released, shows Zinke with […]

Western Values Project files suit after inspector general abruptly closes investigation

Government investigators close the file on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s threatening phone calls, fail to provide any answers The Western Values Project (WVP) filed suit requesting documents from the Department of the Interior related to threats Secretary Ryan Zinke made to Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. The suit comes after the Office of […]

Zinke’s Interior considers drilling near Teddy Roosevelt National Park

News comes as embattled Secretary touts mining ban near Yellowstone Park in desperate attempt to restore conservation credentials The Department of Interior today came a step closer to allowing drilling in areas directly adjacent to Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota with an announcement on the consideration of a new oil and gas lease sale. […]

Hard pill to swallow: Zinke falsely claims no cuts to National Park Service staff

Trump/Zinke budget would cut 1,242 full-time employees   While celebrating the 101st birthday of America’s National Park Service (NPS), Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told ABC affiliate WLOS News 13: ‘there wouldn’t be any cuts to staffing, instead, restructuring the way the National Parks Service operates.’ But earlier this year, Secretary Zinke was advocating for a […]

Exactly what “unspecified boundary adjustments” is Zinke proposing?

Today, the Western Values Project filed an expedited Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of the Interior seeking information on the monument review that was submitted to the White House. The Associated Press reported that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is proposing “unspecified boundary adjustments” to a “handful” of monuments, but the Interior Department is refusing […]

Western Values Project opens investigation in response to leaked document revealing industry influence of Interior’s sage-grouse review

FOIA filed in preparation for litigation after documents show oil and gas lobbyists shaped recommendations from Secretary Zinke   The Western Values Project (WVP) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking correspondence between industry representatives and staff at the Department of the Interior who worked on Secretary Zinke’s sage-grouse review. The request comes after WVP […]

Secretary Zinke adds more special interests to the payroll at Interior

16 new in-depth profiles added to https://departmentofinfluence.org/ While Congress is enjoying summer vacation and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is off on an overseas adventure, the revolving door is spinning at the Department of the Interior with 16 new hires – but not a single one from the $887 billion outdoor industry. Earlier this month, […]

Western Values Project sues Justice Department to obtain correspondence with conservative groups

Suit seeks correspondence on legal justification for national monument rescission Today, the Western Values Project filed suit after the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) failed to fulfill Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The FOIAs, sent on May 31, 2017, request documents related to the national monument review being conducted by the […]

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