Climate + Energy

Transparency Squad Update-June 2017

Freedom road signThis month has been crazy awesome in terms of our efforts to enforce transparency under President Trump and shine the brightest spotlight possible on his corrupt plans to sell our public lands, our climate, and our future off to the fossil fuel industry.

Using the Freedom of Information Act we’ve been exercising our right to know what our government is doing and why, and to share that information with the public.  Since President Trump has taken office, we’ve filed dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests seeking records related to the push to open up more public lands for fossil fuel development and new U.S. Interior Department policies that undermine our climate.

It’s our very own Climate and Energy Program Transparency Squad.

If you haven’t yet, check out our online repository of Freedom of Information Act requests and responses. It’s still coming along, but for now, you can see who we’ve been targeting for transparency and what records we’ve been obtaining.  Our goal is to ensure that information we request is 100% available to the public and used to ensure government accountability and citizen empowerment.

Periodically, we’ll give you updates on recent Freedom of Information Act filings we’ve made. Whether you read them or not, at least you know what we’re up to and where things stand.  While the Trump Administration may fight transparency, WildEarth Guardians is certainly not going to avoid the spotlight.

With that said, here’s the latest Transparency Squad update:

Last week, we filed several lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act to compel President Trump and Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, to hand over records related to their efforts to appease and accommodate the fossil fuel industry.

The suits primary target the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which has been stonewalling our Freedom of Information Act requests for months.  The Bureau manages fossil fuel production throughout the American West. Our aim is to shine a spotlight on Zinke’s coziness with the fossil fuel industry and ensure the Interior Department is putting the American public–not fossil fuel executives–first.

These suits are the latest in what are likely to be dozens, if not hundreds, more against President Trump and his agencies over their secrecy. Although Trump has made reform of the federal government a top priority, the reality is, his Administration seems to be hiding more information than ever from the public.

In addition to stepping up our legal pressure, we’ve filed numerous Freedom of Information Act requests over the last several weeks, including:

As we’ve said, transparency is key to defending our democracy and protecting our climate.  Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to use our Freedom of Information Act and ensure President Trump and political appointees like Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are accountable to the American public, not corporate interests.