Secretary of the Interior

Donald Trump Picks Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary

from The Wall Street Journal,

Former Navy SEAL would lead efforts to open up federal lands and waters to fossil-fuel development.

Donald Trump has selected Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to lead the Interior Department, according to a transition official, tapping a freshman Republican congressman who, like the president-elect, has opposed efforts to sell federal lands to states. If confirmed by the Senate, the former U.S. Navy SEAL would lead Mr. Trump’s efforts to open up federal lands and waters to fossil-fuel development and reverse environmental policies the Obama administration has pursued over the past eight years. In the short time he has been in Congress, Mr. Zinke has shown aspirations for higher office. He considered running for speaker last fall, when he had been in the House for less than 10 months. He won re-election in November.

The Interior Department has control over leasing of fossil fuels and renewable energy on millions of acres of federal lands and waters around the U.S. as well as conservation of national parks and forests. Mr. Trump has said he would work to review, and likely try to undo, much of what the agency has done over the past several years under President Barack Obama. Mr. Zinke, who sits on the House Natural Resources Committee, has opposed legislative efforts to sell federal lands to states, a position also shared by Mr. Trump. Some Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have pushed for more state ownership.

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