Montana Congressman becomes Trump's Interior Secretary
- Author: Stacy Houston Dec 14, 2016,
Dec 14, 2016, 5:19
Tester is a top GOP target and Zinke was considered to be a strong challenger to the Democratic incumbent. McMorris Rodgers and Zinke also met with him on Monday.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Zinke is politically ambitious. This summer, he quit his post as a member of the GOP platform-writing committee after the group included language that would have transferred federal land ownership to the states.
Zinke was an early Trump supporter, backing the New York City businessman for president in May. Citing "multiple sources", the news site says Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers still is the frontrunner, but that Trump has expanded his search and is also now considering Labrador and Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Montana, for the position.
The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for the management and conservation of federal land and natural resources.
In the House, the Republican lawmaker serves on the Natural Resources committee and has split with his party before to defend public access to federal lands.
"Congressman Zinke is a strong advocate for American energy independence, and he supports an all-encompassing energy policy that includes renewables, fossil fuels and alternative energy", Trump spokesman Jason Miller said ahead of a meeting on Monday between Zinke and Trump at Trump Tower in NY.
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President-elect Donald Trump has chosen his secretary of the interior, Politico reported exclusively Tuesday, and it's not Kanye West. "In Congress, I've seen Ryan stand up and fight to protect our way of life".
His nomination must be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.
Interior manages the nation's public lands and minerals and is the steward of 20 percent of the nation's lands, including national parks, national wildlife refuges and other public lands. So something's going on, and so I think you need to be prudent.
Not all environmental groups are likely to embrace Zinke, who opposes safeguards the Obama administration has provided for temporary wetlands and intermittent streams, as well as other restrictions on oil and gas exploration. Former state Senator Zinke started out as somebody we could work with, who was fairly open-minded about a whole host of conservation issues, including climate change. "And he supports an all-encompassing energy policy that includes renewables, fossil fuels and alternative energy", Miller said. Trump likewise contradicts such land exchanges, however the arrangement made it into the official Republican stage.
Zinke graduated from the University of OR, where he played football and earned a degree in geology.