Investigation into Secretary Zinke being referred to Department of Justice

Aaron Weiss, Media Director
Center for Western Priorities
[email protected]

October 30, 2018

STATEMENT on investigation into Secretary Zinke being referred to Department of Justice
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is facing at least six open investigations into his conduct

DENVER—In response to today’s reporting by The Washington Post that the Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General referred an investigation into Secretary Ryan Zinke to the Department of Justice, the Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:

“Since stepping into his role as interior secretary, Ryan Zinke has repeatedly leveraged his office for personal gain, attracting unprecedented scrutiny from government investigators. We are glad to see Interior’s Inspector General take these matters seriously and refer the investigation into the secretary’s conduct to the Department of Justice.

“The timing of Secretary Zinke’s attempt to remove Interior’s acting Inspector General and replace her with a political appointee earlier this month raises serious questions about whether the secretary was trying to dodge scrutiny. If Interior’s Inspector General is unable to hold Secretary Zinke accountable without political interference, it’s time for career prosecutors at the Justice Department to take over.”

Secretary Zinke is facing at least six investigations into his conduct, the most serious of which involves a land deal with the chairman of Halliburton.

Learn More
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s conduct attracts unprecedented scrutiny from government investigators [Westwise]

_For more information, visit To speak with an expert on public lands, contact Aaron Weiss at 720-279-0019 or [email protected]. Sign up for Look West to get daily public lands and energy news sent to your inbox.


The Center for Western Priorities is a conservation policy and advocacy organization focused on land and energy issues across the American West.
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  • U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Thursday that Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue disbursed $112.56 million in fiscal year 2018 energy revenues to Colorado. The sum represents an increase of $20.52 million from the previous year’s total, according to a press release. The money comes from energy
    produced on federal and Indian lands.Colorado ranked third among the 35 states that
    received disbursements. “For a second year, energy disbursements are up, this
    year by $1.82 billion, for a total of $8.93 billion that will be shared with states
    and tribes,” Zinke said in the release.

    Zinke credited Trump administration policies reducing regulations and broadening access for energy companies. He said the increase is primarily attributed to higher
    oil prices, increased oil production, expedited permitting, streamlined regulations
    and increased demand as the economy and exports have continued to expand

    The Interior Department disbursed $1.78 billion to states, a cumulative share of
    revenues collected from oil, gas and mineral production on federal lands within their bor
    ders and from offshore oil and gas tracts in federal waters adjacent to their shores.
    U.S. Interior Department press release

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