If Ryan Zinke is modeling himself after the Conservationist President, Teddy Roosevelt, then why is he making headlines for rolling back land protections? There’s more of an answer there than you might think.
This half-hour Inside Energy special is hosted by Leigh Paterson and reported by Dan Boyce
The Department of the Interior is outlining steps aimed at increasing energy production on federal lands. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says boosting production of resources like oil and gas creates jobs and enhances the nation’s energy security. It’s another pro-industry headline for a secretary touting himself as not only an avid outdoorsman, but a follower of the conservation ideals of the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. If the manager of most of our federal lands is going find inspiration from someone, it would be hard to find a more appropriate muse. “Roosevelt is generally regarded as the father of the modern conservation movement,” said Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “When he was President, he set aside somewhere around like 230 million acres of public lands for the future of people forever.”
That land area is larger than the states of Texas and Wyoming combined.
Superfund cleanups are a priority for Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He wants to cut through red tape that has left more than a thousand sites still contaminated — with everything from radioactive waste to lead. He also wants to remove sites that have already been cleaned up from the so-called National Priority List which has more than 1300 sites. Inside Energy’s Dan Boyce has the story of one superfund site that wants to be off the list, soon.
President Trump idealizes a traditional view of American life, an America based on industry and lifting up the image of the blue collar working man. And no working man has been more lauded under this administration than the American coal miner. The economics for coal aren’t looking good, between regulations and low prices for natural gas and renewables. Still, Trump has been trying to fulfill his campaign promise to bring back mining jobs. We recently spent a weekend with a Colorado coal miner, for a perspective on the ground.
There is a lot of natural gas locked underground in Western Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. Trouble is, it can be tough to get that gas to market. Enter President Donald Trump. The administration is signaling that a natural gas terminal in coastal Oregon denied a critical permit under the Obama administration could have new life.
Solar energy has had a great decade. One estimate puts the industry’s growth at 1600-percent over the last eight years. The last year though? Not so good, especially for rooftop solar companies. The market for residential solar systems has taken a hit, with bankruptcies abound from the likes of SunEdison, Sungevity, Suniva, and at least one company not starting with “sun” — SolarWorld.
After a big downturn since mid-2014, oil prices have been better the last year for drillers. Not great, but better, and high enough that oil companies are expanding their operations here in the US. Of all the problems to have, though, companies aren’t getting as much oil out of the ground as they want because they can’t find enough workers for their highly paid jobs.
The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument includes important Native American sites, Old West settlements, and stunning landscapes described by explorers Lewis and Clark in their journals. It also includes tens of thousands of acres of privately owned land.
Inside Energy is a collaborative journalism initiative of partners across the US and supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting