Department of the Interior
See also Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
|2016.12.13||Trump nominates Montana congressman Ryan Zinke to lead Department of the Interior washingtonpost.com (See also Ryan Zinke)|
|2017.01.20||The Department of the Interior directs the National Park Service to cease use of Twitter after the NPS posted photos showing the small size of the crowd at Trump's inauguration. washingtonpost.com (See also Assaults on Facts)|
A shared tweet about crowd sizes apparently made someone at the Interior Department nervous enough to stand down dozens of official Twitter accounts.
|2017.01.20||Trump White House takes down Native Americans web page from White House website. nativenewsonline.net (See also Native Americans, Racism, Reversals, First 100 Days)|
Within hours of the presidential transition, the White House, took down the Native Americans web page that had been part of the Obama White House website for the previous eight years.
|2017.01.24||Efforts to mute federal employees are occurring to varying degrees in the EPA, and departments of the Interior, Transportation, Agriculture and Health and Human services. politico.com (See also First 100 Days, Assaults on Facts, First Amendment, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services)|
|2017.01.25||A freeze on external communications from the EPA, Depts. of the Interior, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services, is ordered. nytimes.com (See also First 100 Days, Assaults on Facts, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency)|
|2017.01.31||In a new bill House Republicans move to sell off 3.3m acres of national land, the size of Connecticut, sparking rallies and uniting hunters and conservationists in opposition theguardian.com (See also Environment, Bureau of Land Management, Ryan Zinke)|
|2017.01.31||The Interior Department's stream protection rule prohibits the coal industry from polluting water sources near mines and on Wednesday the house will repeal it. thehill.com (See also Environment)|
"The Interior Department’s stream protection rule could become just the second regulation in history — and the first in 16 years — to be repealed under the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to overturn regulations they disapprove of with a simple majority."
|2017.02.23||Court documents filed by Army Corps of Engineers reveal that two days before the Trump administration approved an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline to cross a reservoir near the Standing Rock reservation, the Department of the Interior withdrew a legal opinion that concluded there was “ample legal justification” to deny it. abcnews.go.com (See also Dakota Access Pipeline, First 100 Days)|
|2017.03.01||The Senate confirms Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to lead the Department of the Interior, 68-31, with all voting Republicans and 17 members of the Democratic caucus backing him. cnn.com (See also First 100 Days, Ryan Zinke)|
|2017.03.02||Ryan Zinke overturns a federal ban on hunting with lead ammunition in national parks and wildlife refuges. doi.gov (See also Environment, Ryan Zinke)|
|2017.07.26||In response to Senator Murkowski voting against the ACA repeal, Trump and his administration responded by tweeting at her and a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy. adn.com (See also Health Care, Affordable Care Act, Unpresidential Behavior, Ryan Zinke)|
|2017.09.17||Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that Donald Trump modify 10 national monuments created by his immediate predecessors, including shrinking the boundaries of at least four western sites, but the White House has refused to release this recommendation to the public. washingtonpost.com (See also Assaults on Government, Ryan Zinke)|
|2017.10.02||The Interior Department’s inspector general's office has opened an investigation into Secretary Ryan Zinke’s use of taxpayer-funded charter planes, including a $12,000 trip from Las Vegas to an airport hear his hometown in Montana, and another trip in the Caribbean. politico.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Corruption)|
|2017.10.05||Republican donors paid up to $5,000 per couple for a photo with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke at a fundraiser held during a taxpayer-funded trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands, frequently mixing politics with his Interior duties. politico.com (See also Corruption, Ryan Zinke)|
|2017.10.23||Whitefish Energy, a two-year-old company, had just two full-time employees on the day Hurricane Maria made landfall, but from the same hometown as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, signed a $300 million contract to repair large portions of Puerto Rico's electrical infratructure. washingtonpost.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Unprecedented Actions)|
The scale of the disaster in Puerto Rico is far larger than anything Whitefish has handled. The company has won two contracts from the Energy Department, including $172,000 to replace a metal pole structure and splice in three miles of new conductor and overhead ground wire in Arizona.
|2017.10.24||Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has directed millions of dollars in political contributions since 2014 to a network of Washington operatives that prominent conservatives have accused of profiting by misleading donors. politico.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Corruption)|
|2017.10.25||Members of Congress from both parties on Tuesday called for an investigation into a $300 million contract to restore power to Puerto Rico, awarded to a small 2-person company based in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana. apnews.com (See also Ryan Zinke)|
|2017.10.27||A deal reached between the government and a small Montana energy company located in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown prohibits the government from reviewing labor costs or profits related to the company's relief efforts in Puerto Rico, according to a leaked copy of the contract. thehill.com (See also Corruption, Ryan Zinke, Unprecedented Actions)|
|2017.10.30||The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority cancelled the highly disputed $300 million contract awarded to Whitefish Energy, a tiny American company tasked with restoring power to the still storm-ravaged island. npr.org (See also Conflicts of Interest, Ryan Zinke, Unprecedented Actions)|
|2017.12.04||Donald Trump signed two presidential proclamations to scale back the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah, opening federally-owned public lands for private development. axios.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Domestic Policy)|
The Bears Ears monument is shrinking from 1.5 million acres to 220,000 acres and the Grand Staircase-Escalante is going from 2 million acres to 1 million acres.
|2017.12.05||One day after Donald Trump ordered an unprecedented reduction of a pair of national monuments in Utah, his administration announced plans to modify a slew of other protected wildlands scattered across the country, including shrinking Gold Butte National Monument, a nearly 300,000-acre site in Nevada, and Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which spans just over 100,000 acres on the California–Oregon border. buzzfeed.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Environment)|
|2017.12.05||Outdoor gear company Patagonia says it will take legal action over Donald Trump's move to dramatically shrink two national monuments in Utah. money.cnn.com (See also Legal Issues, Environment, Ryan Zinke)|
|2017.12.07||Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spent more than $14,000 on government helicopters this summer to take himself and staff to and from official events near Washington, D.C., in order to accommodate his attendance at a swearing-in ceremony for his replacement in Congress, and a horseback ride with Vice President Mike Pence. politico.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Mike Pence, Corruption)|
|2017.12.08||Outdoor clothing giant Patagonia and other retailers have filed a lawsuit this week over Donald Trump's announcement cutting Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent. chron.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Legal Issues)|
|2017.12.15||A study about the dangers of mountaintop coal mining has been suspended by the Trump administration. buzzfeed.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Assaults on Government)|
|2017.12.15||Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke brought the leader of a California park to his office last month to reprimand him for climate change-related tweets the park had sent via Twitter. thehill.com (See also Climate Change, Environment, Assaults on Facts, Ryan Zinke)|
|2017.12.22||The Trump administration halted an independent offshore oil drilling review, which was aimed at improving inspections of industry platforms, like the one responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. buzzfeed.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Assaults on Government)|
|2017.12.23||The Trump administration moved to renew leases for a copper and nickel mining operation on the border of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, reversing a decision made by Barack Obama, marking a win for the Chilean mining firm belonging to the family of billionaire Andrónico Luksic, who rents a home to Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, in Washington. washingtonpost.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Ryan Zinke, Reversals, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Corruption)|
|2017.12.28||The Trump administration is rolling back offshore drilling rules put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. bloomberg.com (See also Environment, Reversals, Ryan Zinke)|
|2018.01.04||The Trump administration will allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States waters, giving the energy industry broad access to drilling rights in most parts of the outer continental shelf, including Pacific waters near California, Atlantic waters near Maine and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, reversing a ban on drilling, imposed by President Obama in his final days in office, that protected more than 100 million offshore acres along the Arctic and Eastern Seaboard. nytimes.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Energy, Environment, Reversals)|
|2018.01.09||The Trump administration said Tuesday it wouldn't allow oil drilling off the coast of Florida, abruptly reversing course under pressure from Republican Gov. Rick Scott, during a meeting with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. nbcnews.com (See also Reversals, Conflicts of Interest, Ryan Zinke, Environment)|
|2018.01.10||Climate information has been condensed or excised from the websites of at least six federal agencies under the first year of the Trump administration. buzzfeed.com (See also Climate Change, Environment, Assaults on Facts, Assaults on Government, Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke)|
|2018.01.17||More than three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service have quit out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year, leaving the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmark washingtonpost.com (See also Assaults on Government, Ryan Zinke)|
|2018.02.24||An ethics watchdog group has asked the Interior Department’s Inspector General to investigate Zinke over an alleged violation of a federal conflict of interest law after reports surfaced that he assisted a Montana–based gun manufacturer and vendor of which he is a shareholder. splinternews.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Ryan Zinke)|
|2018.03.02||Interior Department emails indicated that oil exploration was the central factor in the decision to shrink Bears Ears Monument in Utah. nytimes.com (See also Corruption, Ryan Zinke, Environment)|
|2018.03.08||Records show the Interior Department spent nearly $139,000 last year for construction at the agency that was labeled on a work order as “Secretary’s Door.” apnews.com (See also Corruption, Ryan Zinke)|
WASHINGTON (AP) — Records show the Interior Department spent nearly $139,000 last year for construction at the agency that was labeled on a work order as "Secretary's Door."
|2018.03.12||Donald Trump Jr. has a previously undisclosed business relationship with a longtime hunting buddy who helped raise millions of dollars for his father’s 2016 presidential campaign and has had special access to top government officials since the election. apnews.com (See also Corruption, Conflicts of Interest, Donald Trump Jr, Ryan Zinke)|
|2018.03.16||A new U.S. advisory board created to help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African elephants, lions and rhinos is stacked with trophy hunters, including some members with direct ties to Donald Trump and his family. apnews.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Conflicts of Interest, Corruption)|
|2018.05.03||As Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt faces a seemingly endless stream of scandal, his team is scrambling to divert the spotlight to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, by shopping negative stories about Zinke to multiple press outlets. theatlantic.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency, Corruption)|
|2018.05.22||The Trump administration is moving to reverse Obama-era rules barring hunters on some public lands in Alaska from baiting brown bears with bacon and doughnuts and using spotlights to shoot mother black bears and cubs hibernating in their dens. nbcnews.com (See also Reversals, Ryan Zinke)|
|2018.06.19||A foundation established by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and headed by his wife is playing a key role in a real-estate deal backed by the chairman of Halliburton, the oil-services giant that stands to benefit from any of the Interior Department’s decisions to open public lands for oil exploration or change standards for drilling. politico.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Ryan Zinke, Corruption, Nepotism, Environment)|
|2018.07.10||Donald Trump pardoned a pair of Oregon cattle ranchers who had been serving out five-year sentences for arson on federal land — punishments that inspired the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in 2016. nytimes.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Ryan Zinke)|
|2018.07.18||The Interior Department’s internal watchdog has launched a full investigation into a real estate deal involving a foundation established by Ryan Zinke and developers including Halliburton Chairman David Lesar, which will focus on whether Zinke violated conflict of interest laws. politico.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Conflicts of Interest, Corruption)|
|2018.07.19||The Trump administration unveiled a proposal that would strip the Endangered Species Act of key provisions, a move that conservationists say would weaken a law enacted 45 years ago to keep plant and animal species in decline from going extinct. washingtonpost.com (See also Department of Commerce, Environment)|
|2018.07.22||The Endangered Species Act, which for 45 years has safeguarded fragile wildlife while blocking ranching, logging and oil drilling on protected habitats, is coming under attack from lawmakers, the White House and industry on a scale not seen in decades. nytimes.com (See also Environment, Department of Commerce)|
|2018.07.23||In a quest to shrink national monuments last year, senior Interior Department officials dismissed evidence that these public sites boosted tourism and spurred archaeological discoveries, according to documents the department released this month and retracted a day later. washingtonpost.com (See also Ryan Zinke, False Statements, Corruption)|
|2018.08.13||The US interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, has blamed environmentalists for California’s ferocious wildfires and claimed, contrary to scientific research, that climate change had “nothing to do” with them, instead blaming limits on logging. theguardian.com (See also Assaults on Facts, Ryan Zinke, Climate Change)|
|2018.09.10||The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere. nytimes.com (See also Environment, Reversals, Environmental Protection Agency)|
|2018.09.18||The Trump administration reversed a regulation designed to prevent methane, one of the most powerful greenhouse gases, from escaping into the atmosphere during oil and gas operations. nytimes.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Reversals, Climate Change, Environment)|
|2018.09.24||The Trump administration on Monday rolled back a safety rule that would have required trains carrying oil and other flammable materials to install special brakes, reversing an Obama administration rule that followed a series of dangerous oil train explosions in Alabama, North Dakota, and elsewhere. buzzfeednews.com (See also Reversals, Environment)|
Many of these past derailments have resulted in the release of hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil and have prompted local evacuations.
|2018.10.16||Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was the subject of 14 separate government investigations, but that number could soon be zero because he has fired the Department of the Interior’s acting inspector general, who did not know about this until it was reported in the press, and will be replaced by a Republican lawyer who worked on the Trump campaign and will likely be able to fill the role without needing to go through Senate confirmation. outsideonline.com (See also Corruption, Ryan Zinke, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2018.10.30||The Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General has referred one of its probes into the conduct of Secretary Ryan Zinke to the Justice Department for further investigation. washingtonpost.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Corruption, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2018.11.30||Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke accused the House Natural Resources Committee's top Democrat of "drunken" behavior and paying "hush money" after the Democrat called for the secretary to resign for his series of ethics scandals. politico.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Corruption, Unprecedented Actions)|
“It’s hard for him to think straight from the bottom of the bottle,” Zinke wrote on Twitter.
|2018.12.06||The Trump administration moved forward with plans to ease restrictions on oil and natural gas drilling, mining and other activities that were put in place to protect an imperiled bird species across millions of acres in the American West. apnews.com (See also Reversals, Environment)|
|2018.12.15||Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke submitted his resignation to the White House, facing intense pressure to step down because of multiple probes tied to his real estate dealings in his home state of Montana and his conduct while in office. washingtonpost.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Corruption, Resignations and Dismissals)|
|2018.12.21||The Trump administration released a draft environmental impact statement laying out its plan to open up 1.6 million acres of the refuge to oil and gas drilling, known as the coastal plain, sitting on the North Slope of Alaska along the Beaufort Sea. earther.gizmodo.com (See also Environment)|