Pro-polluter Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke hits the road

Credit: Gage Skidmore

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary and honorary fossil fuel lobbyist Ryan Zinke resigned from his post today—leaving a legacy of environmental rollbacks and ethics scandals in his wake. A Montana native, Zinke fancied himself something of a Teddy Roosevelt conservationist, but his actions proved otherwise. In his nearly two-year-long tenure, Zinke repeatedly prioritized industry profits over environmental protections and public health. His most egregious rollbacks include shrinking Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, ramping up drilling in our sensitive Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and proposing to open up our oceans to risky offshore drilling. He also led one of the biggest attacks on the Endangered Species Act in decades, undermined independent science, and stacked the International Wildlife Conservation Council with trophy hunting enthusiasts. Beyond his decidedly poor policies, Zinke was also plagued by ethics scandals, including questionable real estate deals with oil execs and pricey traveling habits on taxpayers’ dime. (Déjà vu, anyone?) While we’re happy to see Zinke go, we’re not resting easy just yet: One of the candidates in the mix to replace him, Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, is a seasoned Washington insider, former Big Oil and Big Ag lobbyist, and a supporter of the Trump administration’s polluting agenda.



Related Content