The Big Oil fix is in. EPA Chief Scott Pruitt held a private briefing with the chief executive officers of 45 gas and oil companies. The topic? No doubt it was coming up with plans to deregulate their industry, roll back pollution and air quality controls, all those things that cost money and get in the way of even bigger profits for Big Oil and Gas. The kicker? Donald Trump himself was enriched by the private swamp meeting, which was held at Trump’s D.C. hotel. Because of course it was.
As Eric Lipton of the New York Times reports, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke also happened to wander into the meeting.
Only weeks later, Donald Trump made it a whole lot easier for oil companies to drill in National Parks.
In late March, President Trump signed his 19th executive order, titled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” which in addition to rolling back a number of Obama-era climate polices may also make it easier for energy companies to drill in America’s national parks.
Buried in the 2,300-word executive order is a sentence directing the Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, to review the rules which regulate oil and gas drilling in national parks and to repeal, suspend, or rescind them if they are found inconsistent with the president’s energy goals.
Big Oil got every single thing they wanted from the meeting. Shortly after the meeting, Secretary Zinke announced they were pausing new oil and gas regulations. The Big Oil investment in the Republican Party is going to pay off very nicely for them, all at the expense of public health and public lands.
How is this not a bigger scandal?
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