At a hearing on Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell asked Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to explain since he is advocating higher admission prices at national parks, why he chose to take a private jet home from Las Vegas.

“First, insults and innuendoes are misleading,” Zinke said. “I never took a private jet anywhere. I took three tips. One of them was with the Senator, your chair, on a prop plane. A second one was with the Governor of the Virgin Islands and the Prime Minister, again in a prop jet in between islands to make sure we were on time, and the third time was to take a King Air late at night after traveling all the way across Nevada giving a PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) to make an 8’oclock meeting with the Governor of Montana. So, I resent the fact of your insults. I resent the fact they’re misleading, I resent the fact about the doors, and I’ll go through it line by line.”

Unfazed by Zinke’s reply, Cantwell reiterated her question about the private jet trip from Las Vegas.

“The IG (Inspector General) is looking at this issue, and we’re looking at the larger issue of how money is spent, and the reason is because of our citizens asking why their park fees are going up, and they’re reading these stories,” she said.


More From Alt 95.7