Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sorry, Rep. McMorris Rodgers; but Zinke isn't much better

I do feel sorry for Representative McMorris Rodgers for losing out on the post of Interior Secretary in the Trump Cabinet (otherwise known as the Ship of State Fools). She must have been pumped to have the chance to get more oil wells pumping on public lands and in the American wilderness. I don't feel sorry at all that she won't get that chance.

Instead of having someone with a score of 0 from the League of Conservation Voters (on a scale of 100), we're apparently going to get someone with a whopping score of 3. Ryan Keith Zinke, of Montana. A former Navy SEAL. Not someone noted for his concern about the natural resources of this great American country. I found this Fortune article for info, and I figured it was a good choice, considering that Fortune is about business and such.

Donald Trump Has Named a Pro-Coal Advocate to Watch Over America's National Parks

"As a single-term U.S. representative, Zinke took several stances favoring coal, a fossil fuel that suffered during the administration of President Barack Obama as development of natural gas and renewable energy soared."

"Many environmental groups oppose Zinke for his commitment to fossil fuels. Bradley Campbell, the president of the Conservation Law Foundation feared that Zinke would be tasked with unraveling Obama’s protections of the environment and federal lands."

But here's the thing...
"Zinke, a regular hunter and fisherman, impressed Trump’s son, Donald Jr., who shares those interests. Land Tawney, the president and CEO of the outdoors group Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, said Zinke would bring a conservationist voice to Trump’s leadership team.

Zinke is a proponent of keeping public lands under federal ownership, which puts him at odds with some in his party who would like to privatize the lands or put them under control of the states."
Well knock me over. That's actually a good thing! Hunters and fishermen, even if they are conservatives from conservative states, have been allies of environmental and conservation groups regarding America's public lands, because they want to keep the rivers and streams clean enough for fishing, and wild lands wild so that hunt-worthy wildlife can live there. So maybe Zinke isn't the worstest of the worst that Trumpy could pick -- not like Scott Pruitt, at least.

Here's the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Scorecard and Statement on Zinke.


Well, looking at that, it's hard to imagine much worse. He even voted against endangered species protections and improved smog standards, and in favor of reducing the President's power to declare regions as National Monuments. So let's see what the LCV said about the choice:

"His atrocious 3 percent score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard gives us little confidence that he will stand with the American people over polluters. Indeed, he is a climate denier who supports drilling in the Arctic and continuing outrageous subsidies for dirty energy development on public lands–positions that align with the oil and gas companies that have spent nearly $350,000 on his campaigns."

That doesn't sound good at all. Which doesn't surprise me at all. Zinke is, at his core, another ideologue likely to kowtow to the Donald and do what he says, which is bad news for the environment, the wilderness, national parks and monuments, and conservation in general. I guess he could surprise me.

I doubt he will.

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