Wednesday, July 11, 2018

With Scott Pruitt gone, green groups now turn the spotlight on Ryan Zinke

Green groups wasted little time denouncing the administration’s environmental policies in the hours after President Trump announced his controversial Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt was stepping down. But the press releases from the Wilderness Society and the Center for Western Priorities were not so much about the EPA or its outgoing chief as they were about another Trump Cabinet official — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. For months, advocacy organizations focused on public-lands issues have attempted to raise the profile of Zinke and his activities at the Interior Department. Now with Pruitt gone, they hope Zinke’s time has come. “In many ways,” said Aaron Weiss of the Center for Western Priorities, “Pruitt was the best thing Zinke had going for him.” Zinke, whose job appears safe for now, has provoked some environmental groups by attempting to roll back Obama-era regulations meant to curb oil spills and greenhouse-gas emissions. Chase Huntley, energy and climate program director at the Wilderness Society, wrote in an email that “we’ve seen a similar ‘industry first’ pattern of favoritism with the policy decisions made by the Zinke-led Interior department.”...MORE

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