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Planet Trump

Tracking the Environmental Policies of the Trump Administration >>

Trump May Hand Sarah Palin Keys to Nation’s Public Lands, Wildlife

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

This piece was originally posted on EWG's EnviroBlog on Monday, November 14, 2016.

“Drill, baby, drill!”

During her failed bid for vice president in 2008, that was Sarah Palin's crowd-pleasing chant promoting her energy policy. Now the pithy catchphrase – and the former Alaska governor herself – could make a comeback.

News reports say Palin is on President-elect Donald Trump's short list to head the Interior Department. As secretary of the interior, she'd be in charge of overseeing oil drilling, uranium mining and other energy extraction on 500 million acres of public land, including iconic national parks like the Grand Canyon.

The pro-mining policies Trump and Palin could be expected to bring to Interior would mean EWG and other public land advocates would have to resume a fight we thought President Obama's administration settled in 2012.

Under President George W. Bush, the Interior Department tried to open up uranium mines near the south rim of the Canyon. It was a scheme that even The Arizona Republic, once a champion of the so-called “Wise Use” movement, denounced as “one of the seven blunders of the world.”

If Trump does make moves to open up uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, Palin wouldn't stand in his way, judging from her quip in 2011 about opening the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling: “If a caribou needs to be sacrificed for the sake of energy independence, I say, ‘Mr. Caribou, maybe you need to take one for the team.’”

In a few months, she could be leading the team. If so, we'll be ready.

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Photo Courtesy of Christopher Halloran / shutterstock.com

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