The Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke warned that approximately 30% of his department is not being loyal to him or towards President Trump.
In his address to the National Petroleum Council, Ryan said that the though the deregulation is a priority but the administration’s efforts are being met from resistance from within the department, from Obama loyalists. In his speech, Zinke noted, “I got 30% of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag.” He further explained that he knew the department of 70,000 employees or individuals was not loyal to the Trump administration when he joined the job in March this year.
He likened his job to that of a pirate seizing, “a prized ship at sea and only the captain and the first mate row over,” to take total control of it. He strongly emphasized the message that the department is in dire need of a culture change to be more business friendly overall.
He said, “There’s too many ways in the present process for someone who doesn’t want to get [a regulatory action] done to put it a holding pattern.”
He said that he has found the bureaucracy at its best to maintain the status quo, which is exactly why he’s pursuing a “major reorganization” to shift the overall agency’s decision-making out of Washington. He wanted to move the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management more towards out west.
He further said, “Push your generals where the fight is.” He has though not announced which western states to which would he like to take those bureaus to.
He has high hopes for his plans of radically restructuring the Department, currently infested with Obama loyalists. He said that, “It’s going to be huge. I really can’t change the culture without changing the structure.”
He says that he is focusing a lot of his efforts on mainly streamlining all the permit processes for work that includes the logging and energy development. And that this is a matter of key priority for Trump.
“The president wants it yesterday,” Zinke said, referring to permits. “We have to do it by the law.”
Zinke further mentioned that the Endangered Species Act needed to have an “off-ramp” for species that are no longer endangered, so that the bureaucrats would stop abusing the law.
In August, Zinke had announced that he would not be eliminating any monuments that take up large tracts of land, putting to rest the fears of some environmental groups. However, some critics have still argued that he does not still seem sufficiently committed to opening up the lands to energy development.