For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Nicole Ghio, (925) 451-8038 NGhio@foe.org, Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

Inspector General to Investigate Zinke over Halliburton Meeting

WASHINGTON - The Department of Interior’s inspector general today announced their office would open an investigation into a shady real estate deal involving Secretary Ryan Zinke and David Lesar, the chairman of Halliburton.

The deal, which involves Halliburton and a foundation started by Zinke and chaired by Zinke’s wife, is the latest controversy surrounding the scandal plagued Zinke.

His list of scandals has grown to include flying in private planes when commercial options were available,  attending political events while on work travel, disproportionately targeting climate scientists and Native Americans when reassigning senior career staff, forcing out the popular superintendent of Yellowstone National Park and saying that 30 percent of Interior staff are “not loyal to the flag” while also insisting that a special secretary’s flag be flown over the DOI main building when he is present — and that the secretary’s flag be as big as the American flag.

In response to the inspector general’s investigation, Nicole Ghio, Senior Fossil Fuels Program Manager at Friends of the Earth issued the following statement:

Zinke's shady backroom dealings with the chairman of Halliburton is yet another example of a Trump appointee profiting from his office at the expense of our environment. Zinke has proven again that he is not worthy of the public’s trust.

Halliburton directly benefits from Interior's safety rollbacks and fossil fuel giveaways. This revelation confirms that Zinke is clearly exploiting his office for personal gain. Zinke and other public officials are appointed to serve the American people, not the pocketbooks of their wealthy donors and business associates.

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