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Commentary by John Windsor
| Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017

One of Donald Trump’s more destructive cabinet picks was Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior. Zinke, as a congressman from Montana, opposed various environmental regulations and supported the transfer of federal lands to individual states.

Donald Trump described environmental regulations as an impediment to business. Trump’s “America First Energy Plan” focused entirely on fossil fuels and does not mention renewable energy.

The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.

In hiring Zinke, he has found the perfect henchman to carry out these sordid deeds. On his first day in office, he rescinded the ban on the use of lead bullets and lead fishing tackle in National Wildlife Refuges. Trump’s proposed budget completely defunds the National Wildlife Refuge Fund. Zinke supports increased coal production on federal lands including national parks and monuments.

Zinke’s “review” of the national monuments is a thinly veiled attempt to hide his real intent: the complete destruction of any pristine outdoor area for the benefit of mining, logging and oil and gas corporations.

Bears Ears is a national monument in Utah that apparently sits on top of potential oil and gas plays. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument harbors large reserves of coal. On June 12, Zinke recommended that Bears Ears National Monument’s boundaries be scaled back to allow for fossil fuel exploration.

That review has been completed, and the results were not surprising.

Zinke has suggested that 10 national monuments be shrunk in size to allow for coal and gas exploration.

Secretary Zinke can be reached by writing to the U.S. Dept. of Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington D.C. 20240, or by calling (202) 208-3100, or by email: feedback@doi.gov.

 

John Windsor lives in Elizabeth Lake and works in Santa Clarita.

 

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8 Comments

  1. jim says:

    “I’m shocked, shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment!” “Excuse me your excellency, but here are your winnings.”

    A quote from “Casablanca”, a movie that purports to tell a story about the Vichy France colony in the town of Casablanca in the French Protectorate of Morocco, Africa during WWII.

    If you don’t get it, then move along. You won’t like what follows.

    The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few (Star Trek) except when the few hold the money, guns, and the law-making powers.

    We’ve gone from the out-right banning of resource recovery (mining/extraction) to the outright offering of supposed mineral rights to the highest bidder, regardless of the damage caused.

    I’ve never been to Bear’s Ears, but I do know a lot about Utah and it’s mineral wealth. You only need to travel I15 and I6 to see the coals seams in the cliff sides, and to see the coal slurry chutes delivering to the power companies that burn it for electricity in Delta.

    Make your choice; try to preserve some unique and never to be seen again lands and opportunities, or sell it all off to corporations that will turn it into industrial sites for a profit.

    Better yet, read up on the Interior Department’s history of screwing the native Americans out of their land for a pittance in revenue.

    But, 99% of you won’t; and therefore, whatever happens after is all on you.

  2. Dave Rickmers says:

    Looking forward, pristine wilderness far more
    precious than loose carbon.

  3. SCgal says:

    Thank you for this information. Naturally to this disastrous administration, gas and coal exploration is far more important than preserving our natural parks. Next up from these morons, a multimillion dollar GOP investigation to determine if the earth is flat.

  4. DennyNNWofLA says:

    “Apres moi le deluge.” (After me, the deluge)

  5. Louise Frankie says:

    John, do you really believe what you wrote, that being, “Zinke’s “review” of the national monuments is a thinly veiled attempt to hide his real intent: the complete destruction of any pristine outdoor area for the benefit of mining, logging and oil and gas corporations.” CLEARLY the complete destruction of any pristine outdoor area for the benefit of mining, logging and oil and gas corporations is not his intent. Hence, you are delivery inaccurate information that often causes naïve readers to only further divide our Nation (Naïve readers meaning those of us who jump to wrong conclusions without first confirming the information’s accuracy or the source of that information). Ultimately it’s been a pleasure to read some of your articles in the past; however I trust you do not want to be known as a journalist who conveys inaccurate [let alone highly inaccurate and or emotionally biased] information so please be more careful when you write in the future. Thank you and good luck to you, your family, and all your endeavors! =)

    • DennyNNWofLA says:

      Substitute ‘result’ for ‘intent.’
      Completely accurate.

    • Diana Shaw says:

      Actually, i think John is 100% right. Read up on who is supporting Zinke’s review. Corporate mining interests. Under the guise of giving the ownership of Federal lands back to the states (States rights). but, the monuments are valuable to environmentalists, outdoorsmen and hunters AND businesses that cater to them. The statutory law is against the administration but, that’s not stopping Zinke. IF they have to they’ll take the issue all thew way to their new friendly Supreme Court. Here’s an interesting article on this fight. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/04/trump-review-national-monuments-bears-ears-utah/ Once God’s country is gone, it is gone forever.

  6. Richard Hood says:

    Been there a few times. Never met anyone who actually lives there who wants the National Monument. Not one. These people love the area, and love hiking, etc. in it. We don’t live there.

    Where does the Federal government get it’s authority to own what looks like on a map, a third of the land? Don’t trust evil corporations? Good.
    Trust government? Stupid. They both are guided by failed people like you and I, who increasingly look with distain on putting any moral restraints on our own natures.

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