Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Falsely Claimed To Be A Geologist 40 Times

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has referred to himself as a “geologist” over 40 times despite never actually working as a geologist. 

Zinke most recently made the false claim last week while defending his decision to shrink the Bears Ears National Monument, notes CNN:

I’m a geologist. I can assure you that oil and gas in Bears Ears was not part of my decision matrix. A geologist will tell you there is little, if any, oil and gas.

The New York Times reported in March that emails to and from Zinke and his department showed that oil and gas were a major part of the decision to shrink the Bears Ears National Monument.

CNN notes that “Zinke has suggested that he was a geologist or former geologist at least 40 times in public settings,” even “under oath before Congress.”

Zinke told the fib to the House Natural Resources Committee in March:

I can tell you, from a geologist, offshore mining of sand is enormously destructive environmentally, as in comparison to seismic.

Zinke told the same lie to Breitbart News when he defended his decision to exempt Florida from offshore drilling:

Florida is different in the currents — I’m a geologist — it’s different in geology.

Zinke criticized the work of the U.S. Geological Survey in May 2016 by pulling out the same tired false claim:

I think the assessments of the USGS has done previous, I think they fall short, from a geologist’s point of view.

Zinke wrote in his autobiography “American Commander” that he randomly chose geology as his major at the University of Oregon:

I studied geology as a result of closing my eyes and randomly pointing to a major from the academic catalog, and I never looked back. I am just glad I did not find electronics.

Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift admitted to CNN that her boss had not worked as geologist, but rather went into the US Navy SEALs instead:

Ryan Zinke graduated with honors with a B.S. in Geology. His intended career path was underwater geology – and he had college jobs to support that career. Upon graduation he was recruited to be an officer in the US Navy SEALs where he proudly served for 23 years and retired with the rank of Commander.

(Sources: CNNThe New York Times, Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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