Environmentalists Sue Over Trump’s ‘Sham’ Monument Review

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a lawsuit Wednesday against President Donald Trump’s administration for withholding documents related to the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) ongoing review of national monuments designated by presidential authority under the Antiquities Act.

The Department of the Interior (DOI) has not answered Freedom of Information Act requests for Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s schedule, communication records and any other documents related to a review of national monuments mandated by an April 26 Executive Order, according to a CBD press release.

A recap of the secretary’s schedule is available online at the end of every month after all of his agency-related interactions have been recorded, DOI spokeswoman Heather Swift confirmed.

“Zinke’s review of these national monuments has been a sham from the start,” CBD attorney Meg Townsend said in the press release. “Why would he hide his emails and his schedule unless he doesn’t want the public to know who he’s talking to? Zinke is deluded if he thinks his Roosevelt image squares with the Trump administration’s sellout of our public heritage to oil, gas, mining and timber industries.”

So far, Zinke has only recommended scaling back one of the monuments under review, the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Zinke has recommended leaving five other monuments’ boundaries unchanged.

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