Mining Corporation Pursuing Project Approval with BLM and DOI Gives Ryan Zinke $234,000 Annual Package to Not “Lobby”

According to the AP:

Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has a new job: a more than $100,000-a-year post with a gold-mining firm that’s pursuing project approvals involving the federal agency that Zinke left fewer than four months ago.

Zinke told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his work for Nevada-based U.S. Gold Corp., which focuses on mining exploration and development, would not constitute lobbying. But that company’s CEO cited Zinke’s “excellent relationship” with the Bureau of Land Management and the Interior Department in explaining his hiring.

“We’re excited to have Secretary Zinke help move us forward” on two pending mining projects, in Nevada and Wyoming, Edward Karr, head of U.S. Gold Corp., said by phone.

Karr said one of the mining projects is on land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, which is under the Interior Department.

A 2017 executive order by President Donald Trump says executive-branch appointees cannot lobby their former agency for at least five years after leaving their government post.

Separately, criminal statutes impose one and two-year bans on various kinds of communications between senior federal officials and their former agency, said Virginia Canter, chief ethics counsel of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit ethics-watchdog.

4 thoughts on “Mining Corporation Pursuing Project Approval with BLM and DOI Gives Ryan Zinke $234,000 Annual Package to Not “Lobby””

  1. ….or simply a bad business decision. Unclear what Zinke knows enough about the industry, regulation, or politics to actually help. At a DOI townhall he revealed he didn’t know USGS existed yet he was a geology major.

  2. I’ve always been a bit confused by these restrictions and how they are enforced. I think they are different for SES and political appointees.

    If there are bans against meeting with federal officials, and say Zinke meets with them, couldn’t one of our numerous groups of lawyers file a suit to get the USG to enforce those laws (just like the environmental ones we are more familiar with)?

  3. They evidently leave big loopholes: “Zinke said he’s abiding by the law because he is advising companies but not lobbying.”

    I remember some discussion past of whether someone supposedly representing the recreation industry would be any different post-federal career. Here’s what Sally Jewel has been up to: currently Interim Chief Executive Officer for The Nature Conservancy and Regent of the University of Washington where she is currently a Distinguished Fellow in the College of the Environment.

    And political party doesn’t seem to be the key. Here’s Ken Salazar (her predecessor at USDI): Ken Salazar is a partner with the WilmerHale law firm that represents clients from the oil and gas industry.


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