The Washington Post is reporting that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s “personal schedule shows industry chiefs have frequent access” to the secretary. More from the story:
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spent much of his first two months in office meeting with energy and other industry groups, according to personal schedules released this week under the Freedom of Information Act.
The schedules, which cover March and April, detail a slew of meetings with oil and gas producers as well as officials representing gun owners, marine industries, automobile dealers and builders.
The records show Secretary Zinke meeting with special interests from the oil and gas industry:
Zinke held more than a half-dozen meetings with executives from nearly two dozen oil and gas firms during the period, including BP America, Chevron and ExxonMobil. He also spent time with the American Petroleum Institute, the Western Energy Alliance and Continental Resources chief executive Harold Hamm. Several of these discussions covered executive actions the administration would later take in an effort to reverse President Barack Obama’s policies, such as limits on drilling off America’s coasts and the venting of methane from drilling operations on federal and tribal land.
“It’s been clear since day one where Secretary Zinke’s priorities lie – with the special interests from the oil and gas industry who want to undermine protections for our public lands,” said Chris Saeger, Western Values Project Director. “The oil and gas industry has given Zinke hundreds of thousands of dollars through his political career, and now he is returning the favor by letting them drive the agenda at Interior. Once again Secretary Zinke proves he is more like a Washington insider than the Montana cowboy he tries to portray in his taxpayer-funded photo ops.”