Oil executive on Trump’s short list for Interior Secretary

An oil industry executive who has spoken out against animal rights is a leading contender for Interior secretary should Donald Trump win the White House, two sources familiar with the campaign’s deliberations told POLITICO on Monday — a prospect that drew immediate condemnation from environmental activists.
Forrest Lucas, the 74-year-old co-founder of oil products company Lucas Oil, is well-known in his native Indiana, where in 2006 he won the naming rights to Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the Indianapolis Colts football team, for a reported $121.5 million over 20 years. He and his wife have given a combined $50,000 to the gubernatorial campaigns of Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, according to Indiana state records.
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Lucas’ company, California-based Lucas Oil, is a fast-growing manufacturer of automotive oils, lubricants and other additives used in everything from cars to heavy-duty trucks.
One person briefed by the Trump campaign said Lucas is a “front-runner” for the Interior secretary job. The person, who was granted anonymity to talk about private discussions, added that Trump wants a “more business-friendly and business experience-heavy cabinet.”
But environmentalists quickly excoriated the idea of an oil industry executive leading the department that oversees national parks and wildlife refuges, along with decisions about offshore drilling, fracking regulations and protections for endangered species.

“Putting an oil executive in charge of our public lands and precious coasts in places like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida is a virtual guarantee that Trump’s promise to throw open season on drilling in our special places will come true if he’s elected,” said Khalid Pitts, the Sierra Club’s national political director.
David Turnbull, the campaigns director at anti-fossil-fuels group Oil Change USA, worried that Trump’s Cabinet could be full of people with ties to the oil industry. They include Harold Hamm, the CEO of Oklahoma oil company Continental Resources, who has emerged as a possible pick for Trump’s energy secretary.
“Catering to an industry dead-set on continued expansion of oil and gas drilling is not only totally out of step with climate science, but it’s also out of step with the majority of Americans who are calling for a swift transition to clean energy and robust action on climate change,” Turnbull said in an email.
It would be nearly unprecedented for major oil executive to get the top job in the Interior Department. Current Secretary Sally Jewell was an engineer for Mobil Oil early in her career and often touts her experience fracking wells, although she is best known as a conservationist and former outdoor retail executive.
Lucas’ nomination would be a coup for the oil and gas industry, which has battled President Barack Obama’s Interior Department for years over everything from Endangered Species Act listings to access to federal lands for drilling. Trump has cultivated close ties to the oil industry, which was once skeptical of his campaign for president.
“In a lot of ways, having an oil and gas friendly person in the Interior Department is more important to the oil and gas industry than having someone friendly at the Energy Department,” one industry official said.

Nominating Lucas would also break with the long-standing tradition of Interior secretaries coming from Western states.
It would also likely draw rebukes from animal rights groups. Lucas, who owns a ranch and serves on Trump’s agriculture advisory committee, is one of the biggest donors to groups that attack the Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and defend animal agriculture, hunting, meat consumption, rodeos and circuses.
Another source with knowledge of the transition operation said Lucas was on a short list of about five names that are under consideration for the post, which has started to attract considerable interest from prominent “anti-conservation zealots.” Donald Trump Jr., an avid hunter, has also publicly expressed interest in the job.
Earlier this year, Lucas financed and produced a feature film called “The Dog Lover,” which portrays dog breeders and puppy mills as being unfairly targeted by animal rights groups. The movie was backed by Protect the Harvest, a nonprofit founded and chaired by Lucas, that says it’s “Keeping America Free, Fed & Fun!” In 2014, Lucas gave $250,000 to the Protect the Harvest PAC, records show.
Roger Ebert’s website called the movie “shamelessly manipulative” and “a pretty bald piece of anti-[Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] and/or PETA propaganda,” noting that the movie ends with a call to moviegoers to look into animal welfare groups before donating to them.
Animal rights supporters were quick to point out Monday that Lucas had put up hundreds of thousands of dollars into fighting an “anti-puppy mill” ballot measure in Missouri that was approved by voters in 2010.

“Forrest Lucas is a peevish advocate of trophy hunting, puppy mills and big agribusiness, and has never met a case of animal exploitation he wouldn’t defend,” said Michael Markarian, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, which backed the measure in Missouri.
Lucas’ wife, Charlotte, who co-founded Lucas Oil, came under fire in 2014 for a Facebook post that criticized Muslims and atheists. “I’m sick and tired of minorities running our country!” she wrote, according to news reports at the time.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/forrest-lucas-trump-interior-secretary-228364#ixzz4L6NViTXm
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15 thoughts on “Oil executive on Trump’s short list for Interior Secretary

  1. I’m more interested in who Hillary is going to pick, not rumor about Trump – and breaking up that old gang of theirs in the Western states could only be a good thing. They have an oil executive there now.

  2. Here’s my thoughts so far about the Democratic picks:

    Tim Kaine – worrisome because of Sportmen’s Act connections and proponent of offshore drilling in the mid-Atlantic states

    Ken Salazar – abject horror

    Interior Dept. Secretary? shudder to think

    Sally Jewell is far from a conservationist, because I don’t think the average person really knows what that is. It’s a lot more than someone who likes the outdoors and used to head up a outdoor recreation company. She’s done virtually nothing for wildlife and I have to wonder if she even is anything more than a figurehead in this position, and thinks the ‘Keep it in the Ground’ movement is naïve.

  3. Trump pointedly said he’s supporting the fossil fuel industry, so considering Lucas is not out of the question for him. But why Trump just wants to just thumb his nose at most American voters is unconscionable.

  4. Republicans on animal rights, animal farming, recreational wildlife killing (aka hunting), the environment, public land: State control of, management of national forests, public land, environmental policy, wilderness, wildlife are the goals of of the dark side (republicans), as well as control of many social issues. They, the conservatives, want control of wolf management, grizzly management, predator management in general, endangered species, ESA, EPA, so that they can marginalize, wipe out wolves, other predators, favor economic special interests, I.e. hunters, ranchers, extraction industries.

    The alternative universe party (GOP) that denies science, logic, facts, is also the anti environment, anti wildlife, anti public lands party. Don’t vote republican if you care much about wildlife, wilderness, public lands, refuges, or parks, if you care much about the environment. Republicans are generally anti-environment and anti-wilderness and anti-wildlife. Now, there is a growing effort to turn public lands over to state and local “management” and demonstration of that nature, a Pandora’s Box. They are generally anti-science, anti-logic, arti-fact, alternative universe party, make believe what -they-want party. They are the the party of climate change denial, the only free world major party this obtuse and paranoid (believing climate change a leftist conspiracy). The GOP has voted against the environment and wildlife 90%-99%the time in the past 15 years. Examples: MT Senator Steve Daines ® has voted against the environment 99% of the time, Congressman Ryan Zinke ® of MT 97% of the time. GOP capitalistic, self-centered greed is no doubt a major factor. But many on the GOP far right believe in creationism. It is basically a party that is anti-logic, anti-science, anti-facts when it conflicts with capitalistic short-term, self-centered greed (no concern for the environment, let’s make a buck now). It is the Anthropocene Extinction Party.

    The republican brain thinking may have a genetic basis. It is somewhat of a worldwide manifestation of conservative thinking. They staunchly resist change and progress. They stubbornly stand by failed economic-political theories (trickle down economics, unfettered/unregulated capitalism, states’ rights over federal general public rights, neoconservative militaristic meddlesomeness). They are the party of “No”.

    The conservativesrepeatedly, annually, try to sneak through their anti-environment, anti-wilderness agendas on riders to must pass bills, like the defense bill or Interior bills. They are the Grand Obstructionist & Paranoid Party. They are the party that wants to devvy up what is left of public lands and wilderness to corporate interests, rancher, extraction industries, development. They keep trying trying end runs, flank attacks on public land. Watch out for forest “management” tactics or other attempts at opening up Pandora’s Box on local/state management of forest or other public land. They are the unfettered commerce party of let’s have it now now wanton greed. Sit down republicans when little thoughts start rumbling, round them up, sit down before you hurt yourselves or the rest of us.



    missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/republicans-can-t-be-concerned about the environment










    http://sacb.ee/6jz0 Who are the good peoplehttp:







  5. I just don’t fall for political games from both sides – this story has no proof, and it seems really outlandish, plus conflict of interest. I would not expect Senate approval either. I don’t believe this story, any more than I believe Junior would be appointed. I’d rather hear who HC is going to pick. Interior is an extremely difficult position; as fair as I can be, four years is not long enough to get anything done. But I can’t see what SJ has done, except she makes all decisions as people only. I’ve yet to hear her say anything in support of wildlife and wildlands for their own sake. She has done nothing to help wild horses, calls the sage grouse a ‘scrappy little bird’. Those are about the only things I have heard her say. The Parks and other wildlands need protection, not increasing access to human activity.

  6. I guess what my fear is that the Democrats want to ‘make friends’ all the time, by bargaining. And by doing that, they chip away a little more at our priceless wildlands and wildlife. Development and ‘traditional’ interests never concede. Sometimes you just have to say ‘NO’ to them. The Democrats are constantly praising the ‘tradition’ of hunting, have allowed guns to be brought into national parks and wildlife ‘refuges’. What? You don’t want the sage grouse listed as endangered? Oh, OK.’ Stuff like that. You can’t make wildlife and wildlands an economy!!!!!

    If we are going to vote Democrat, it shouldn’t be about fear of the other party, but what Democrats are going to do. It’s the most annoying thing about this race, mudslinging back and forth, with no real answers to make you feel comfortable choosing. “Trumps have killed a lot of animals”. What kind of a response is that?

  7. We are at the bottom line now, in this country. The fact that this maniac/sociopath Trump ever got this far in the campaign process, should cause all of us to cringe, and realize that if this guy gets in, say good-by to all environmental regulations, including CITES, and other international trafficking protections for wildlife (which are few as it is), any protections for women’s rights, and racial equality and fairness, an increased militaristic police force & society, with a very likely possibility of an all-out nuclear confrontation.

    Jill Stein, Gary Johnson do not stand a chance. Trump does not have a conscience, and he has very clear connections to the White Supremacy movement. He is a bigot, degrades women, and believes women should be “punished for abortion.” It is sad that it has come to this, but when one looks at the numerous abuses perpetrated by Trump over decades to working people, his facade of a “Trump Foundation, which is used for his money laundering — using “other people’s money” as he boasts, Hilary Clinton, despite her faults, is a saint compared to this evil man.

    Say good by to Civil Rights, and get used to more blood in the streets. As for animals? Well, does anyone really think Trump & his spawn, will do anything but eat them, wear them, hunt them & destroy their last Wild Places?
    This whole process taking place in this country is very, very akin to the atrocities which began to take place in Germany in the late 1930’s. Yes, Trump will prove that history does, in fact, repeat itself.


  8. Ida, I often agree with your statements, but your comments here are troubling. Either Trump or Hilary will be President. That is the reality. Hilary has at least worked on wildlife trafficking issues in Africa, and she has also worked on humanitarian issues, and has given her full support on women’s reproductive rights, and would certainly make better choices for the Supreme Court. If Trump gets in, the Supreme Court is lost to any kind of protections for women, civil rights, etc. If you do not agree, well, let’s see what happens to Civil Liberties, environmental protections, abortion and contraceptive rights, and more. Trump will further the racism, meanness, bullying, xenophobia and militarism to a degree no one has probably ever experienced–except the blacks in the South, who were slaves. I will not vote for a sociopath and racist.

  9. Interior Secretaries have been notoriously poor choices from either party. The question in this election cycle is not whether Politico can guess Trump’s choice, but what happens to the Supreme Court. In addition the issues Rosemary points out, the Supreme Court has a direct bearing on environmental policy, including wildlife protection, and is in many ways far more important than the choice of Interior Secretary. With Scalia out of the picture, control of the Supreme Court is at stake for the first time in a generation, and the appointment will last far longer than one or two presidential terms.

  10. There is no reason to doubt the information of this Politico article–it is sound reporting–and voters need to know the dealings behind Trump’s campaign because of the real possibility of his election. We need to know about the Trump Organization and how this fraud worked his way up through the system at the expense of so many. Capitulation by the Democratic Party is not the only factor in the nation’s rapid decent, and restricting our activism and opposition to the limitations and flaws of liberal/progressive politics will contribute to the whole failure. Neoconservatism, tea party politics, white nationalism and the expansion of rightwing extremism in general are part of the same process because they are at the root of social collapse by becoming more acceptable to the society. These dangerous trends are what we fear, not just the GOP. Focusing on the faults of neoliberalism or centric politics, or who Hillary might appoint to Interior at this juncture in the fall of empire is tantamount to what the disgraceful American media did in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq: reporting on Hussein’s gassing of the Kurds decades prior, as if to legitimize and endorse military action. It was irrelevant information at that point, just as the media today irresponsibly report on Hillary’s “scandals,” whether or not they come from Wikileaks. That this Lucas character works against animal rights and hasn’t initially encouraged a Trump nomination is very relevant, because it shows how evil agents win over the less evil. They are coalescing, and that is most ominous.

  11. I don’t know why, because I have legitimate concerns about the Democrats, that means I’m automatically voting for Trump? It’s preposterous – stop with the knee-jerk fear please, it really is disturbing. I have a right to vote with my conscience. Stop playing the race card, it’s unbecoming. I voted for President Obama the first time around wholeheartedly. I still think he’s done a good job despite obstructionism, but for all candidates, environment and animal rights/welfare take a backseat and I want more time devoted to it. That’s all I said. I’m sure the political candidates would be the first to understand that they come under intense scrutiny and criticism. I have come to see over decades that people and their problems dominate, and not much will ever change about that. Now, we’ve got billions of people and lots of problems that won’t change. Both parties today bear little resemblance to the parties of old.

    I still very well may vote for Hillary, but it won’t be without some disappointments. That’s all I said. After decades of picking the least bad candidate in Presidential elections, I’m not happy with the two-party system. I know very well after decades of voting not to expect too much, and I am tired of it. That’s all I said. I will guarantee you that not much is going to change for animals without a fight, because it never does. It’s been appalling under this administration for them. . I still don’t believe that article. The debates I hope will be more clear on what HC is actually going to do, not mudslinging against her opponent. That’s been a disappointment. It’s still a dirty word to say too much about these topics by Democrats; we know that the Republicans speak up about what they really think. Democrats are afraid to ‘turn off’ potential voters, so they don’t want to speak up.

  12. It would be so much classier not to take part in the usual mudslinging. I’m tired of guessing, wishing and hoping what a candidate will do and if they will deliver on their promises, and then being disappointed. When people talk about the Supreme Court, I always think of the Warren Court, not holding to predicted Party leanings, and being exemplary, probably one of this country’s finest hours.

  13. There’s no need to fear – I live in a rock-solid blue state, so my vote won’t mean a thing if I decide to vote Green, or even not vote at all. I can’t even have a say-so in what happens on the public lands, made for you and me, so I’m told. But I will vote because I have a right to take part in the political process, and I enjoy the process, and learning as much as possible to try to make my vote count.

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