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US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently took to the podium in front of an audience full of energy industry workers at CERA Week to talk US policy, and then proceeded to reveal just how much of a shill for the petroleum industry he really is.

Air Quality

Secretary Of The Interior Ryan Zinke Wholesales US Federal Resources to Fund…Parks?

US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently took to the podium in front of an audience full of energy industry workers at CERA Week to talk US policy, and then proceeded to reveal just how much of a shill for the petroleum industry he really is.

The United States Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently took to the podium in front of an audience full of energy industry workers at CERA Week to talk US policy, and then proceeded to reveal just how much of a shill for the petroleum industry he really is.

He kicked off his brief monologue with a very Trumpesque statement that reads like something out of an election year campaign, stating that “the President has made it clear in a number of executive orders that America is going to move to energy dominance.” Concerned that he had not sufficiently expressed his ignorance of the work underway by the US EPA or the impressive progress that the rest of the world has made in the last 10 years, he boldly proclaimed that, “environmentally, we are going to have to lead the way.”

I mean, really. Before we get too deep, let’s see where Mr. Zinke has been to see if that helps make sense of what seems like senseless jibber-jabber.

Zinke spent 23 years as a Navy seal before stepping onto the national stage when he was elected into the US House of Representatives in 2008. While serving in Congress, Zinke expressed his position on energy policy, proclaiming that, “I support increased coal production for electrical generation and believe it can and should be done with adequate environmental safeguards. I believe the use of alternate energy sources and clean coal is preferred over petroleum based fuels.”

8 years later, that very same Zinke was selected by then President-elect Trump as his would-be nomination for the Secretary of the Interior. That’s not too much of a stretch considering that he holds a degree in Geology and that the Department of the Interior was established by the Department of War way back in the day.

When Trump took office, Zinke was foisted to the head of a department that has the ability to have a massive influence on the US energy mix. In its own words,

“The Department of the Interior protects and manages the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage.” The ability to lock or unlock the extensive natural resources across the United States…serving as the gatekeeper to the coal, natural gas, crude oil, and other natural resources is a critical role as we look towards what we all hope is a healthier, cleaner, more politically stable future.

The baseless ramblings coming from Zinke aren’t isolated statements, but are rather the latest manifestations of his deep-held belief that energy independence equates to generating energy from things extracted from the earth. We have highlighted the logical disconnects in his position here on CleanTechnica in the past and he continues to underwhelm with proclamations like, “We have an environment responsibility not only to produce energy but to produce it in ways that’s responsible and in many ways we are doing that.”

Translating his position on energy into his role as the Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Zinke reveals his true motives by hopping straight into bed with big oil and even offers to buy dinner:”Our regulatory environment, we’re changing it. Interior should not be in the business of being an adversary. We should be in the business of being a partner.”

Thankfully, as our planet is being pillaged by the lowest bidder, we can find solace in the fact that it’s not our fault. Big Industry is just better at what it does than government and the role of government is to just stay out of the way. “The government is not capable of moving at the same speed the industry is. That’s clear. Our regulatory framework should not be a burden.”

Zinke is also pushing to open up some of our most tender and vulnerable natural resources to oil exploitation er…exploration.”The previous administration took 94% of our offshore assets offline. It is my decision in the 5-year plan, we put everything on. Almost on a zero-based way so America could see the potential of offshore.”

Zinke reassures us that this isn’t just the wholesale offering up of our natural resources to the highest bidder, as some might expect, but it’s really an honest effort to reassess the work done by decades of administrators to ensure that we are truly maximizing the potential profits from these resources. Seriously. His push to exploit the public lands under his management authority is that he needs to generate revenues in the tens of billions of dollars to balance his budget and ensure much needed funding to our National Park Service is made available.

No, we don’t want to crimp the largest increase in defense spending in American history — more than $700 billion — to pay for our most treasured National Parks. The best way to pay for this is to turn to mother nature and pillage her assets to fund preservation and restoration efforts with the largest bake sale wholesale offering of offshore leases in American history. “Offshore: We are going to launch the largest sale in the history of this country. That’s primarily in the mid- to western-gulf.”

Not content to simply exploit the resources we have and spoil our planet with the combustion of the resultant fossil fuels, Zinke feels the need to take jabs at solar and wind generation. Zinke blames solar farms for making public lands unusable for hunting or recreating and wind for “we probably chop up as many as 750,000 birds a year on wind.”

To put a bow on his paid advertisement for the oil and gas industry, Ryan Zinke talked a bit about flaring, or the process of burning the small amounts of natural gas that are extracted along with crude oil as it doesn’t usually exist in significant enough quantities to make it worthwhile to capture and process for sale. His solution: more pipelines.

I see what you did there, sir.

Finally, he pays homage to his dark master with his version of an old Trump classic. “I want to thank you for making American energy great again.” Check out the video linked below for the full vomit-inducing talk.

Source: CERA Week

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Written By

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.


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