It’s no secret that politicians love to use holiday breaks to bury bad news. The “Friday news dump” is a tradition that even earned its own episode of The West Wing 18 years ago. But over the past two weeks, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke dumped a staggering number of pieces of trash on the American people.

Unsurprisingly, many of the actions Secretary Zinke and the Interior Department took over the holidays were a gift to oil, gas, coal, and mining companies around the globe. Here’s what Ryan Zinke hoped you wouldn’t notice: (more…)

Written by on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Under Secretary Ryan Zinke, the Interior Department has become a rubber stamp for the oil and gas industry. A recent analysis of 24 policy changes supported by the oil, gas, and coal industries found that the Trump Interior Department has already taken meaningful action to complete or advance 13 of them.

Written by on Monday, December 18th, 2017

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is trying as hard as he can to defend the indefensible — the largest-ever reduction of public lands protections in American history.

In the days after President Trump signed a proclamation that attempted to remove more than two million acres from Bears Ears and Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monuments, Secretary Zinke has used a set of egregious false and misleading talking points in the media.

Written by on Friday, December 8th, 2017

December 6 marked the much-anticipated “largest” sale of oil and gas leases in Alaska’s wildlife-rich National Petroleum Reserve. But despite the bombast and bullish statements that accompanied the Bureau of Land Management’s announcement of the lease sale earlier this fall, the administration has fallen entirely — and notably — silent.


Written by on Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released his final national monuments report, recommending that President Trump illegally revise the boundaries of four national monuments and once again writing off the 2.8 million comments from Americans in favor of keeping those monuments as is. The new report was rife with factual errors, only a minor improvement over its predecessor, which was leaked by the Washington Post in September.



Written by on Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Since taking office, the Trump administration has moved aggressively to roll back existing common sense energy policies and enact an agenda written by the oil and gas industry. A new analysis finds the Trump administration and their allies in Congress have acted on at least 22 policy changes supported by energy companies and associations as of December 2017. These include efforts to remove safeguards on drilling, shut out the public from decision making, and increase drilling inside of America’s parks and wildlife refuges.


Written by on Thursday, December 7th, 2017

With a simple signature, President Donald Trump just eliminated protections for more than two million acres of national public lands. It’s the largest elimination of public land and wildlife protections in our nation’s history. And it sets a terrible precedent that puts all of our treasured outdoor spaces  at risk of being eliminated.

Written by on Monday, December 4th, 2017

On Monday, President Trump will travel to Utah to announce significant cuts to two of the state’s most remarkable national monuments, Grand Staircase–Escalante and Bears Ears. It will be the largest rollback of protections to public lands in history and could open what one paleontologist called the “last great, largely unexplored dinosaur boneyard in the lower 48 states” to coal mining and other energy development.

Written by on Friday, December 1st, 2017

Utah’s national monuments will be opened up to mining and drilling

President Trump will travel to Utah next Monday to sign an executive order attempting to significantly cut the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monuments. What will be the largest elimination of protections for our shared public lands in U.S. history comes as a hand-out to coal, oil, and uranium companies at the expense of the region’s public lands and wildlife.

The two monuments contain significant reserves of coal, oil, and uranium that could be sold-off for extraction. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch’s office told Utah lawmakers that the president plans to reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante by 40 to 60 percent and Bears Ears by 80 to 90 percent. (more…)

Written by on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

To finance a small portion of the costs of the Republican tax plan currently working its way through Congress, lawmakers are pushing to open Alaska’s pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. Considered one of the last intact spaces in the United States, opening the Arctic to drilling has long been a dream of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Until now, most press reports have focused primarily on the environmental risks of drilling and the very problematic economics of selling leases inside the remote wildlife refuge. What has not been reported is the potential impact of developing oil reserves inside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on the lower 48 states, particularly the Mountain West.


Written by on Monday, November 27th, 2017

Latest News

@WstrnPriorities on Twitter

4 days ago
A riveting first-person account from @JessiJohnson89 of @artemis_nwf about how her first bow hunt turned her into a public lands advocate for life.
5 days ago
NEW PODCAST: @JessiJohnson89 of @artemis_nwf describes how her first bowhunt turned her into a public lands activist for life.
6 days ago
UPDATE on Rep. Mike Noel’s undisclosed land that magically got cut out of Grand Staircase-Escalante NM. Fact-check from @Western_Values:
6 days ago
New from @GregorZimmer: The Land & Water Conservation Fund is wildly popular with Republicans and Democrats in Montana. So why is @SecretaryZinke trying to defund it?
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