WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program’s efforts to enforce transparency continued in strides this month. Just yesterday, we filed suit against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for failing to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request for records related to illegally approved coal leases.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s no secret that WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program is stepping up to enforce transparency under the Trump Administration.
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 hundreds 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.
As we’ve said before, 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. We’re still getting things impeccably organized, 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% made 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:
In August 2017, we filed numerous Freedom of Information Act requests, including:
- A request to the Interior Department for records related to the implementation of Secretarial Order 3354, which ordered the streamlining of the leasing of coal and oil and gas.
- A request for records from the Office of Surface Mining related to the implementation of Secretarial Order 3354.
- A request for records from the Bureau of Land Management related to the implementation of Secretarial Order 3354.
- A request for records related to the Bureau of Land Management’s review of the West Antelope III coal lease.
- A request for records from the Bureau of Land Management’s Wyoming State Office related to the Black Butte coal lease modification.
- A request for records related to the Normally Pressured Lance oil and gas project in Wyoming.
- A request for records from the Nevada State Office of the Bureau of Land Management related to the cost of administering oil and gas leasing in the state.
- A request for records related to oil and gas pipeline rights of way in Montana.
- Requests for records related to communications and coordination between the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Bureau of Land Management.
- Requests for records related to oil and gas incidents and “undesirable events” in several BLM state offices.
- Requests for records of communication for the Deputy Interior Secretary and a District Manager in New Mexico.
To top it all off, we submitted our first request for records to the Mine Safety and Health Administration for records related to a slew of safety violations at Arch Coal’s West Elk mine in western Colorado.
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.