An environmental protester was not in good company when he decided to disrupt Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s speech during a wind energy conference.
Speaking Wednesday at a conference organized by the American Wind Energy Association, Zinke explained the Trump administration’s moves to boost offshore wind development. The Department of the Interior is preparing to auction federal waters off the Massachusetts coast in order to build turbines, with similar plans churning for California. The Montana Republican sees a brighter future for offshore wind industry.
“My job is to make sure the government is a partner with you. And I’m bullish on wind,” Zinke said to the audience, with a large picture of a wind turbine and the American flag behind him.
However, the Interior secretary was momentarily interrupted by one individual who was not a fan of his policies.
A man — later identified as a member with Friends of the Earth — began screaming in the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill conference and held a sign that read “Fire Zinke.” The man yelled “fire” and then paused a moment before yelling “Zinke,” in an apparent attempt to make the audience initially believe there was a fire. The protester screamed that Zinke was not a supporter of renewable energy and did not believe in climate change. (RELATED: ‘It’s Never Nice To Be Rude’: Ryan Zinke Criticizes Woman Who Interrupted His Speech To Ask About Brett Kavanaugh)
The audience of wind energy supporters and professionals did not appear pleased with the protester’s actions. As he was being ushered out of the room, people groaned, booed and even told him to “get a job.”
Strange bedfellows –>
Protester interrupts offshore wind conference @SecretaryZinke is speaking at now, says Zinke doesn’t support renewable energy or believe in climate change. Zinke says: “Isn’t America great.” Attendees yelled back at the protester get a job. pic.twitter.com/TVDqJZJCMH
— Amy Harder (@AmyAHarder) October 17, 2018
“Isn’t America great?” the Interior secretary asked before returning to his prepared speech.
Beyond wind energy, Zinke also spoke on his plans to reorganize the Interior Department in order to streamline operations and improve efficiency.
“Under the current organization, you are likely to have multiple biological opinions independently produced by different bureaus with different leadership with different missions in different regions,” he explained.
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