or The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight
While we are still digging ourselves out from Devin Nunes "deep throat" contact on the White House grounds, Ryan Zinke tells us clean energy is a hoax and that he is all for his commander-in-chief lifting the temporary bans on coal mining leases on federal lands. Dig, baby, dig!
The Secretary of Interior doesn't say that wind energy requires a certain amount of fossil fuels to get the turbines moving, he cites the loss of migratory birds as an inhibiting factor. This has been an argument tossed out by birders, anti-wind groups and conservative pundits for years now. The energy department devoted a paper to this during the Obama years, noting that efforts were being made to better locate turbines so that they kill less birds. However, wind turbines kill a lot less birds than cars, windows, high tension wires, communication towers and cats. But that isn't stopping our man who rode in on horseback his first day of work from spouting this nonsense. He's the same guy whose first act was lifting Obama's ban on lead bullets on federal lands. Hunting kills far more birds than wind turbines as well.
Our new administration doesn't seem overly worried about pesticides either, as EPA chief Scott Pruitt sided with pesticide lobby groups over science in overturning a ban on chlorpyrofis, whose toxins have been known to cause brain damage in children. Pruitt doesn't see anything wrong with leaded gasoline either. He too seems to think much of this environmental awareness is a bunch of bunk.
Meanwhile, Energy Chief Rick Perry is more worried about Texas A&M (his alma mater) electing its first gay student body president than he does anything going on in his new department. Chief Rick was furious, as he felt the election had been stolen when the other candidate was disqualified for trying to intimidate voters.
As if that weren't enough, Spicey scolded a black woman reporter for shaking her head as he tried to brush off her question about the image problems the Trump administration has. This incident certainly didn't help matters.
Trump's administration has become The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight. It would be funny if all these actions didn't have serious consequences. The shift back toward fossil fuels and the repeal of environmental regulations threaten to undo much of what the Obama administration accomplished in making a bold move toward sustainable energy and greater environmental awareness.
Under Obama we saw solar and wind energy soar. In 2016, the solar energy sector created over 260,000 new jobs, or roughly two per cent of the entire new work force that year. By comparison, oil and gas were forced to shed over 20,000 jobs the same year. I would think a self-proclaimed business man could understand those numbers and see which direction the economy is headed?
Unfortunately, our commander-in-chief relies way too heavily on conservative blogs and ignores the business magazines that all show the positive impact solar and wind are having on the economy. Even Rick Perry was forced to admit wind energy might not be a bad thing his last years as governor of Texas, but in the end former Governor Rick chose coal over wind.
No matter how hard you try to reverse America's energy policy, coal is not coming back on the scale Trump and his supporters imagine. There is simply no longer a great need for it. Like the dinosaurs, this is an industry that is dying out and good riddance. It has been the dirtiest form of energy for decades, resulting in respiratory ailments that are incurable. Oh, and coal kills far more birds than wind, solar, oil and natural gas combined.
So, Cowboy Zinke, that's some pretty weird shit you are trying to pull on us! Maybe you and your buddy, Scott, should crack open a book on energy sources before spouting off on clean energy and the environment.