A leading contender to serve in an eventual Donald Trump administration as Secretary of Interior is Forrest Lucas, a co-founder of oil products company Lucas Oil. The 74-year-old businessman is well-known in Indiana, which is home to the Indianapolis Colts football team and the Lucas Oil Stadium. He reportedly paid $121.5 million over 20 years for the right to name the eponymous stadium. He and his wife have given $50,000 to the re-election campaigns of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate.
Lucas Oil is a fast-growing manufacturer of automotive oils, lubricants, and other additives used in vehicles ranging from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks. Lucas’s background in business is presumed to accord with Trump’s emphasis on economic development and a business-friendly and business experience-heavy cabinet. 
Having Lucas at the Interior Department would be a boon to the petroleum industry. Oil and gas companies have resisted the Interior Department under President Barack Obama’s since his election in 2008 on issues ranging from the theory of global climate change, the Endangered Species Act, and access to federal land for drilling. Another personality that Trump may choose from the petroleum industry is CEO Harold Hamm of Continental Resources of Oklahoma for the slot as Secretary of Energy.
Lucas owns a ranch and is a member of Trump’s agriculture advisory committee. He is a strong defender of meat consumption, hunting, rodeos, circuses, and the raising of animals for food. On the website of his Lucas Cattle Company, there is a strong statement on the right of businesses to raise animals and to be protected from “animal rights extremists.”
The website identifies the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) as a federal law that prohibits any person from using force, violence, or threats "for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise." The law provides the Department of Justice the necessary authority to apprehend, prosecute, and convict individuals committing animal enterprise terror. The law gives DOJ stronger tools to respond to threats posed by animal rights extremists. According to the website, “Animal rights activists have criticized the bill on the grounds that it does not provide explicit protection for ‘whistleblowing’ and undercover investigations. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claimed that "no other industrial sector in U.S. history has ever been given such legal protections against people's exercising of their First Amendment free-speech rights.”
Reportedly, Lucas is a big donor to groups that seek to delimit the activities of PETA. 
Charlotte Lucas, Lucas’ wife, is a co-founder of Lucas Oil. After issuing a Facebook post critical of Muslims and atheists -- "I'm sick and tired of minorities running our country!”, she wrote -- she later apologized. 



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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