"Three former administrators of the agency responsible for the government’s vast weather forecasting system have serious concerns about the businessman President Trump has nominated to be its next leader, and two of them say the nominee has conflicts of interests that should disqualify him, documents and interviews show."
Struggling to stay up-to-date with the dizzying array of news coming out of the White House? Here's the news you need to know that pertains to ocean and coastal conservation.
"Any day now, President Trump’s Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, is going to propose a new draft program that will tell us which U.S. coasts are on the chopping block—to be opened up for the oil industry. At risk are the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Gulf of Mexico."
Via Global Trade
"The site is 100 miles west of the Alaska wildlife refuge, which a provision in the current Senate Republican tax bill would open for drilling. The executive branch doesn’t require congressional approval for Eni’s Arctic drilling, which could begin this month."
"On Twitter, Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee, which oversees the Interior Department, said Patagonia was disingenuous in its ad campaign.
“Patagonia Is Lying To You,” the committee's account wrote, using the same font the retailer had on its website. It continues: “A corporate giant hacking our public lands debate to sell more products to wealthy elitist urban dwellers from New York to San Francisco.”"
"The Environmental Protection Agency will not block its scientists from freely discussing their work in public, Administrator Scott Pruitt promised lawmakers this week, in the wake of a recent incident in which researchers were barred from presenting findings on climate change at a conference."
"Zinke’s final report comes a day after Trump signed proclamations in Utah that downsized two massive national monuments there — Bears Ears by 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante by nearly 46 percent. The president had directed Zinke in April to review 27 national monuments established since 1996 under the Antiquities Act, which gives the president broad authority to safeguard federal lands and waters under threat."
"In April, Trump charged U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross with reviewing any actions taken in the past decade that expanded the existing national marine sanctuaries or established new ones and may have interfered with potential offshore gas and oil development or mineral extraction."
"His decision removes about 85 percent of the designation of Bears Ears and nearly 46 percent of that for Grand Staircase-Escalante, land that potentially could now be leased for energy exploration or opened for specific activities such as motorized vehicle use."
"White, a fellow of the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation and former head of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, has written extensively against regulation of carbon dioxide, which she calls "the gas of life." She has also written in favor of increasing the use of fossil fuels and has criticized the Endangered Species Act."
"Authority to allow oil and gas development in that undeveloped piece of Alaskan wilderness lies with Congress. But elsewhere in Alaska’s North Slope, where the executive branch is less hamstrung, the Trump administration is marching forward unabated with energy development."