To serve in the Trump administration is to deserve hazard pay, and lately that’s especially true of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
The green-industrial complex claimed Scott Pruitt’s scalp last month, ginning up a storm of ethics allegations that forced his resignation as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Now it has shifted focus to Zinke. But it’s hitting walls. Zinke isn’t giving his detractors easy opportunities. He has aides who know and follow the rules, and backing in the White House and in Congress.
Not that the incoming is pleasant. Few movements are better funded and coordinated or more messianic than the environmental left. They despise a Trump team that is correcting decades of backward energy and environmental schemes and are working furiously to bring down the reformers. Unlike green groups of 20 years ago, which focused on policy, today’s effort is focused almost entirely on personal destruction.
Zinke’s antagonists include the usual big-dollar organizations, like the Natural Resources Defense Council, many of which are now staffed or run by former Obama officials; self-described watchdog groups like the Western Values Project, that are closely tied to major environmental and labor groups; and congressional allies such as Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, who call daily for investigations. The coalition produces an assembly line of allegations, which the mainstream media dutifully pass along.