Tag: Interior Department

Interior Chief’s Lobbying Past Has Challenged the Agency’s Ethics Referees

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter. WASHINGTON — On the morning of Aug. 21, 2018, David Bernhardt, then the deputy interior secretary, wanted to attend a White House meeting on the future of a threatened California fish, the delta smelt — an issue upon which Mr. […]

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Trump Administration Makes It Easier to Dredge Protected Areas to Restore Beaches

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration changed a 25-year-old policy to make it easier for coastal communities to take sand from protected ecosystems to improve their beaches. The shift makes it cheaper for some of the wealthiest communities in the country to replenish their beachfronts, which are increasingly under threat from more frequent and intense storms, […]

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Interior Department Grounds Chinese-Made Drones Amid Review

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department announced on Wednesday that all drones in its fleet that were manufactured in China or contained Chinese-made parts would be grounded as part of a review of the department’s drone program. The decision will not apply to drones “currently being utilized for emergency purposes, such as fighting wildfires, search and […]

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Decades-Old Government Loophole Gives Oil Companies an $18 Billion Windfall

The United States government has lost billions of dollars of oil and gas revenue to fossil-fuel companies because of a loophole in a decades-old law, a federal watchdog agency said Thursday, offering the first detailed accounting of the consequences of a misstep by lawmakers that is expected to continue costing taxpayers for decades to come. […]

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Snakehead Fish Found in Georgia: ‘Kill It Immediately’

It was described as “a companion for the Creature from the Black Lagoon” when it appeared in Maryland, as “Frankenfish” when it was caught in Virginia and as the “freshwater fish equivalent of a tank” when it showed up in the Harlem Meer in New York. There has been no end to the creepy descriptions […]

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Interior Dept. Takes Next Step Toward Sale of Drilling Leases in Arctic Refuge

The Trump administration reached a milestone this week in its plan to open a pristine part of Alaska to oil and gas development with the release of a final report on the environmental impact of the plan. The report keeps the Interior Department on track to auction leases for the right to drill in the […]

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Putting a Positive Spin on Oil Exploration in the Arctic Refuge

When the Trump administration first pushed to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration, it predicted that drilling would generate a windfall for the federal Treasury: $1.8 billion, by a White House estimate. But two years later, with the expected sale of the first oil and gas leases just months away, […]

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Trump Administration Weakens Protections for Endangered Species

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law credited with rescuing the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the American alligator from extinction. The changes could clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, […]

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Ethics Office Investigates Whether Interior Dept. Officials Violated Transparency Laws

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department’s internal ethics watchdog has opened an investigation into whether top Trump appointees at the agency have violated federal open-record laws by withholding or delaying the release of public documents, emails and policy memos. The investigation by the Interior Department’s Inspector General comes the same day as the separate introduction of […]

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A Plan to Mine the Minnesota Wilderness Hit a Dead End. Then Trump Became President.

ELY, Minn. — In the waning months of the Obama administration, a Chilean conglomerate was losing a fight with the United States government over a copper mine that it wanted to build near a pristine wilderness area in Minnesota. The election of President Trump, with his business-friendly bent, turned out to be a game-changer for […]

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