Coal isn’t the only mineral resource in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that may have influenced Secretary Zinke’s and President Trump’s efforts to slash its acreage by nearly half. Before the area was designated as a national monument in 1996, the oil giant Chevron had a lease to mine potash in part of the monument Trump now wants to carve out.
Chevron happens to have some close ties to the Trump administration– it contributed $525,000 to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee and was a donor to the past campaigns of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Scott Angelle, who now runs the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement at Interior. The multinational oil company’s leadership met privately with Secretary Zinke and his political appointees in March.
The map on the top indicates where Chevron potash lease was. The map on the bottom shows President Trump’s proposed reduction of GSENM. These maps are not to scale.
This is what Secretary Zinke and President Trump want for our public lands: Less protection and more favors for special interests.
Continued examination of the largest reduction of protected land in U.S. history, more influence by the former lobbyists and special interests, who have taken over the Department of Interior, becomes clear. Follow Secretary Zinke’s and this administration’s revolving door at www.departmentofinfluence.org.