Guest post by David Middleton
Senate confirms Ryan Zinke as interior secretary
By Darryl Fears March 1
The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Ryan Zinke’s nomination to lead the Interior Department by a 68 to 31 vote.
Zinke will head a department that manages a fifth of the land in the United States, about 500 million surface acres, a total that doesn’t include millions more acres and natural resources underground. Interior has an enormous environmental footprint, with agencies that decide how resources such as coal are managed and which animals are eligible for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Republicans called the former Montana congressman and Navy SEAL a strong choice for Interior, as an avid hunter with Western roots who understands how federal regulations on the cultivation of coal, natural gas and minerals on public lands can hurt corporate revenue and reduce jobs.
Lie #1 (a lie of omission)
The vote was 68-31… At least 16 Democrats voted for Zinke… One might think that an honest newspaper would call this “bipartisan.”
Democrats were wary of Zinke despite his declaration that he believes humans contribute to climate change. “Man has had an influence,” he said under questioning by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Zinke’s assertion that the level of human contribution is unknown, despite the near unanimous opinions of climate scientists who say it’s overwhelming, didn’t help.
There are no “near unanimous opinions of climate scientists who say it’s overwhelming.” The 97% lie doesn’t even assert that the human influence is overwhelming. It asserts that humans are responsible for more than 50% of the warming since 1950. An actual survey of the American Meteorological Society only found that 67% believed that humans were responsible for more than 50% of the warming. So, “near unanimous” and “overwhelming” are bald-faced lies.
Zinke’s confirmation came more than a month after the committee’s approval partly because of politics, and Murkowski and Cantwell’s speeches on the Senate floor reflected the broad partisan divide. Zinke was approved by a 16-6 committee vote largely along party lines. All of the committee’s 12 Republicans voted in Zinke’s favor.
Four our of ten Democrats on the committee voted for Zinke. This is nearly 50% of the Democrats on the committee. An honest newspaper would have called this a bipartisan vote. “Largely along party lines” is a bald-faced lie.
I thought about counting this as a lie; but I think it’s just plain ignorance. So I’ll give it the Tim Allen Grunt Award.
Tim Allen Grunt Award for Journalistic Ignorance
Zinke will head a department that manages a fifth of the land in the United States, about 500 million surface acres, a total that doesn’t include millions more acres and natural resources underground.
The subsurface “acres” are included in the surface “acres”… A standard OCS lease in the Central Gulf of Mexico is 5,000 acres. An acre is a unit of area. The mineral lease includes the mineral rights. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a mineral lease. It would be a five to ten year lease on the seafloor. While some of this acreage could become oceanfront property during the next glacial maximum…
The Department of the Interior’s logo is very appropriate for the Washington Post’s Buffalo-schist-filled article.