July 23, 2018

Department of Interior Manipulates the Facts to Undermine National Monuments

Statement by Adam Markham, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (July 23, 2018)—Internal emails from the U.S. Department of the Interior show that political appointees in the department dismissed and ignored evidence and as they made decisions to shrink national monuments and protected land. The Trump administration’s selective approach to evidence is a betrayal of the public trust, and decisions based on cherry-picked facts could do irreparable damage to America’s wilderness, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Adam Markham, deputy director of the Climate and Energy Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Almost from day one of Secretary Zinke’s tenure, it’s been clear that his top priority has been to open public lands to drilling and logging, and in the case of the oceans, to increased offshore oil and gas leasing and mining. It’s been an all-out assault on one of President Teddy Roosevelt’s most important conservation legacies, the Antiquities Act, with constant efforts by this administration to shrink, expunge and weaken legal protections for some of our most cherished landscapes, seascapes and wildlife. Now we know the Interior Department paid scant regard to the public comments they solicited, and, it seems, worked hard to ensure a foregone conclusion for the debate.

“This is just the latest example of a disturbing pattern for this administration: sidelining science to get their preferred policy outcome. Once again we see that the Trump administration is picking and choosing its facts and hiding inconvenient information from the public. How are we supposed to trust any of the arguments the Trump administration is making for its policies?”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.