Secretary of the Interior and former Montana congressman Ryan Zinke joined Fox News Radio’s Kilmeade & Friends on Tuesday to discuss the Trump administration’s wave of actions related to energy and the environment.
Zinke praised President Donald Trump’s sweeping order to roll back Obama-era policies designed to mitigate and prepare for climate change and defended his agency’s move to lift the temporary halt on new coal leases on federal lands — a reversal that will come at a significant cost to taxpayers — by claiming “there’s no such thing as clean energy.”
“I understand you are today rescinding a ban on coal leasing on federal lands… are you hurting the environment to help jobs?” the host asked.
“We’re not hurting the environment,” Zinke replied. “If you look at — is there such thing as clean coal? Well there’s no such thing as clean energy — even wind comes at a cost if you want to talk about migratory birds and cutting through.”
“But coal, can we do it better? Absolutely,” Zinke continued. “But it is better to export cleaner coal overseas than to have China use low-quality, high sulfur coal. So if you want to look at how to protect the environment it is better to use cleaner grade coal, made in the U.S., than it is for China, which is building coal power plants as we speak. They’re reducing their nuclear power capability and expanding their coal fired power plants — we need to make sure we provide them the cleanest coal and invest in our technology here at home. Everyone wants clean air and water but we can do it better.”
Renewable energy is called “clean” because it is far less damaging to the environment than the combustion of fossil fuels, like coal, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, accelerating global warming. While wind turbines do pose a risk to birds, far more birds are killed each year by collisions with cell and radio towers and cats. And of course, bird fatalities have no impact on relative cleanliness of an energy source.
Trump, Zinke, and other administration officials have sought to characterize their recent assault on environmental protections as one grounded in economics — ending burdensome regulations and creating jobs. But as experts have repeatedly emphasized, the economics of coal are increasingly dim and, despite what Trump may claim, he cannot bring the industry back.
Clean energy, on the other hand, continues to be a rapidly growing sector, with wind and solar jobs growing 12 times as fast as the rest of the U.S. economy. Nearly every state has more jobs in clean energy than fossil fuels, according to a recent analysis by the Sierra Club, with clean energy jobs outnumbering fossil fuel jobs by more than 2.5 to 1 and outnumbering coal and gas jobs specifically by a magnitude of 5 to 1.
Nonetheless, in a statement lauding the president’s order to reverse the halt on new coal leases on federal land, Zinke said, “We can’t power the country on pixie dust and hope.”
Zinke has touted an “all of the above” energy approach in the past, and did so again in the Fox News Radio interview, adding that “the market should play and the government needs to get out of picking winners and losers” — a statement that doesn’t square with the Trump administration’s apparent desire to prop up the coal industry despite market signals.
Like much of Trump’s cabinet, Zinke has misrepresented the science regarding human-caused climate change, falsely testifying in his confirmation hearing that there is ongoing debate over how much of an influence humans have had on recent warming (there’s not).
Trump’s Interior Secretary says ‘clean energy’ is a hoax was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Three men were arrested Friday in Garden City, Kansas for allegedly plotting to bomb an apartment complex where many Somali immigrants live and worship.
“These charges are based on eight months of investigation by the FBI that is alleged to have taken the investigators deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence,” acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said in a statement. “Many Kansans may find it as startling as I do that such things could happen here.”
Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright, both 49, and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, were key members of a militia group that called itself the Crusaders. The FBI had been investigating their activities since February, aided by a confidential source who attended the meetings.
The criminal complaint describes how the confidential source drove Stein around the Garden City area as he conducted surveillance on potential targets, including a mall and mosque located in an apartment complex. He frequently referred to Somalis as “cockroaches” and women dressed in traditional garb “fucking raghead bitches.” At the time, Stein “had with him a pistol, an assault rifle with several magazines, a ballistic vest, and a night vision scope.”
“The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.”
On group calls and meetings over the summer, the men discussed a wide range of potential targets, including churches, residences, city and county commission meetings, and landlords that house Muslim refugees. “The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim,” Stein said, according to the complaint.
In September, the men began looking into obtaining components for explosive devices and automatic weapons — discussing plans with an undercover FBI agent. And then this week, a woman who identified herself as Allen’s girlfriend contacted local police regarding a domestic battery incident. She showed them a room full of ammunition and subsequent searches of his car and workplace revealed several other weapons and supplies used to manufacture explosives.
In response to the charges in Kansas, coupled with threats to Islamic institutions in Michigan and New Jersey, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on federal and state law enforcement to provide increased protection for mosques and other Islamic institutions.
“We ask our nation’s political leaders, and particularly political candidates, to reject the growing Islamophobia in our nation,” national executive director Nihad Awad said in a statement.
This year has seen an alarming uptick in anti-Islamic and anti-refugee incidents across the U.S. and Europe. Politicians like Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump continue to stoke those flames, calling for a ban on Muslims entering the country and increased surveillance of U.S. mosques, and suggesting all Muslims living in the U.S. should be forced to register in a federal database.
In September, a Muslim woman visiting New York City was reportedly set on fire. A woman reportedly attacked two Muslim women and their small children taking a walk in Brooklyn. In July, a Muslim man boarding a plane in North Carolina said the flight attendant announced over the PA system, “Mohamed Ahmed, that is a very long name, seat 25-A: I will be watching you.”
And these incidents are just a sampling. Since last year’s ISIS-affiliated terrorist attacks in Paris, ThinkProgress has documented over 100 anti-Muslim incidents — threats, assaults, protests, firings, airport profiling cases, and instances of vandalism — across the country.https://medium.com/media/aa8da7a2da24e86b5b175cb296c98cb8/href
3 men arrested for plotting bomb attack on Muslim immigrants in Kansas was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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