Rep. Ryan Zinke was officially tapped by the President-elect on Thursday to head the Interior Department. This move by Trump marked the conclusion of the team that will be charged with the responsibility of rolling back President Obama’s environmental agenda.
Rumors had it that Trump would pick Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers as Interior Secretary. However, Trump’s decision came as a surprise amidst the rumors, this clearly shows that Trumps administration is ready to ramp up domestic gas, oil, and coal production.
In a statement made by President-elect Trump, he emphasized that Mr. Zinke has extensive expertise in leadership and an attitude of taking on obstacles to ensure he wins by any means necessary. Trump also emphasized that the U.S. is the most beautiful country in the world and that Mr. Zinke was going to help the government to keep it in that state by effectively managing the federal lands.
Trump also highlighted his administration’s vision and goals to ensure that the bad regulations are repealed and that the natural resources are efficiently used to create jobs and wealth for the U.S. citizens, he added that Ryan would also help in the exploration of the possibility of meeting those goals in a safe and responsible manner.
Once Mr. Zinke is officially confirmed, he’ll oversee a great deal of portfolio that includes more than 500 million acres that will include America’s monuments and national parks, and the exploration of energy on federal lands. The government also heavily relies on the Interior Secretary in liaison with Native American tribes and that’s key to Trump’s administration.
In a trend of Interior secretaries from the Western States, Mr. Zinke will be the latest. Ken Salazar was the first interior secretary in President Barack Obama’s administration, he had previous experience as a U.S. senator from Colorado. The former CEO of the leading outdoor company REI Sally Jewell replaced Mr. Salazar. Mr. Zinke made a statement in which he said that he took shots at his predecessors and he pledged to make the Interior Department Great again.