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Friends of the Earth goes to court over DOI Monument review documents

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Friends of the Earth, U.S., today filed a complaint in the U.S. federal District Court in Washington, D.C. against the U.S. Department of the Interior for violations of the Freedom of Information Act.

The complaint covers eleven FOIA requests Friends of the Earth submitted to DOI between July and September 2017. The Department of Interior has yet to turn over documents, communications, meeting notes and/or records pertaining to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s review of six national monuments, and Associate Deputy Secretary James Cason’s role in the Department’s review of National Monuments.

The Friends of the Earth FOIAs request documents pertaining to the review of the National Monuments at Bears Ears, Gold Butte, Katahdin Woods and Waters, Mojave Trails, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, and Giant Sequoia.

Ben Schreiber, Friends of the Earth’s Senior Political Strategist, issued the following statement:

The intransigent Department of the Interior continues to hand over America’s public lands to fossil fuel companies despite intense public opposition. Zinke’s refusal to turn over information about these decisions reeks of corruption. Meanwhile, fossil fuel extractors are licking their lips at the prospect of getting ahold of these pristine areas.

With Trump’s appointed leaders at the Department of Interior granting the every wish of Big Oil, the courts are the only way to ensure the Trump Administration is complying with the law.

We are using all the legal tools at our disposal, including FOIA, to force the Department of the Interior to comply with the law and release these documents to the public.

FOE is being represented by the D.C. public interest law firm, Meyer Glitzenstein & Eubanks.

Expert contact: Marcie Keever, (510) 900-3144, mkeever@foe.org
Communications contact: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

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