Low coal, uranium prices reduce interest in Bears Ears, Grand Staircase

The Trump administration's new and smaller boundaries for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments may not generate many immediate requests from energy companies to mine or drill on the 2 million acres of land, said the Associated Press. The Interior Department declined to say how many claims have been filed but a trade group said low uranium prices would "discourage any investment in new claims'" in the Bears Ears territory of Utah.

Zinke plan for federal land: Drill, baby, drill

The Interior Department would auction off millions of acres of public land for oil and gas development, according to a draft obtained by The Nation of the department's strategic plan for the next five years. "It states that the DOI is committed to achieving 'American energy dominance' through the exploitation of 'vast amounts' of untapped energy reserves on public lands."

Trump backs biofuels but industry wants to see it in EPA rules

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says President Trump affirmed his commitment to biofuels during a telephone conversation amid Midwestern fears of a weaker Renewable Fuels Standard in 2018. Despite encouraging words from Trump and the EPA, the head of an Iowa group said biofuel backers won't rest until the EPA announces its final decision, due by Nov. 30.

Zinke’s travel raises eyebrows

The Inspector General has launched an investigation into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s air travel, after complaints that Zinke was using a private plane owned by an oil executive. That particular flight, from Las Vegas to Zinke’s home state of Montana, cost taxpayers $12,000, according to the Washington Post.  But other taxpayer-funded flights, including one to speak at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, are also being questioned.

Montana ranchers worry new radioactive waste rule isn’t enough

Since 2013, nearly 233,000 tons of radioactive waste, much of it from the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota, has been disposed of at a site near Glendive, Montana. Now, after years of prodding, the state has finally proposed a rule for handling oilfield waste, but area ranchers and farmers think the plan leaves them deeply vulnerable.

Greens worry over new sage grouse conservation plan

A new sage grouse conservation plan released by the Interior Department has ranchers and energy developers in the West cheering, while environmentalists worry about the endangered bird’s future.

Zinke loads Interior with former oil-and-gas employees

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is stocking the Interior Department with staffers who’ve spent years working for the extractive energy industry, suggesting an agency increasingly less friendly toward public-lands conservation, says Western Values Project, a progressive advocacy …

Oklahoma energy industry behind science and math curriculum

The industry-led Oklahoma Energy Resource Board has spent $50 million since the 1990s training the state's K-12 teachers to teach a science and math curriculum that critics claim is more industry promotion that real education.

U.S. can be dominant energy source by tapping federal lands, says Zinke

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, in New England as part of his ongoing review of national monuments, told Reuters that the United States can become a “dominant” energy force by boosting mining and drilling on federal lands.

White House budget proposal harsh on Department of Interior

With the release of the 2018 White House Budget proposal, environmentalists and public lands advocates are worried over a $1.4 billion (10.9 percent) cut to the Interior Department. The proposal targets federal lands, opens oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and cancels money set aside to bring economic opportunities to Appalachia — often in the form of farming ventures.