Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Senate confirms Ryan Zinke to head Interior Dept.

Ryan Zinke
The Senate today confirmed Ryan Zinke to lead the U.S. Department of the Interior, Darryl Fears reports for The Washington Post. "Zinke will take over a department that manages a fifth of the land in the U.S., about 500 million surface acres, a total that doesn’t include millions of more acres and natural resources underground. Interior has an enormous environmental footprint, with agencies that decide how resources such as coal are managed and which animals are eligible for listing under the Endangered Species Act."

"Republicans called the former Montana congressman and Navy SEAL a strong choice for Interior, as an avid hunter with western roots who understands how federal regulations on the cultivation of coal, natural gas and minerals on public lands can hurt corporate revenue and reduce jobs," Fears writes. "Democrats were wary of Zinke despite his declaration that he believes humans contributed to climate change." Some fear he will "rescind the Obama administration designation of 1.3 million acres in Utah as the Bears Ears National Monument, a status long pursued by Native tribes and conservationists."

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