UPDATE: Trump taps Montana congressman for Interior secretary
The Hill, Dec 13, 2016: President-elect Donald Trump is planning to name Montana’s Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) to lead the Interior Department.
Zinke was offered the Interior secretary position Tuesday, a source close to Trump’s transition efforts confirmed to The Hill. A transition official told CNN that Zinke had accepted the offer.
Zinke’s office and Trump’s transition team did not return requests for comment. On Twitter, a spokeswoman in Zinke’s congressional office retweeted an early report on his selection for the post.
If the Senate confirms him, Zinke would be in charge of a department with some 70,000 employees and a wide range of responsibilities, from managing huge swaths of federal land in the West to enforcing treaties with American Indian tribes and studying the nation’s geography. He would replace Sally Jewell, who has been President Obama’s Interior secretary since 2013.
The Montana Republican was an early Trump supporter, endorsing the businessman in May.
Zinke, a freshman lawmaker, has been a critic of numerous Obama administration environmental initiatives, including a moratorium on new leases for coal mining on federal land that accompanied a review of the coal leasing program. Montana is among the leading states for coal mining on public lands.
He has slammed the Obama administration's policies cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and oil and gas wells, and has pushed for Indian tribes to get more leeway in how they permit drilling on their land.
An avid hunter and fisherman, Zinke bucks many of his GOP colleagues in his strong support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that uses fees from offshore oil and gas drilling to improve parks and public recreation.
He resigned his position in the committee writing the GOP platform earlier this year due to a provision in the platform advocating for transferring federal land to states.
Zinke sits on the House Natural Resources Committee. The League of Conservation Voters gives him a 3 percent on its scorecard, which is meant to measure lawmakers’ environmental friendliness.
The lawmaker has said he has doubts about humans' impact on climate change….
read … The Hill
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Trump to pick Rep. McMorris Rodgers for Interior secretary (NOT)
TH Dec 9: … Interior Secretary (NOT!)
WSJ Dec 9: … Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers to Run Interior (oh well)
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