Sci-tech

Zinke confirmed as Secretary of the Interior

President Trump added another member to his cabinet on Wednesday after the Senate voted to confirm his Interior Secretary nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT).

The Republican-controlled Senate approved Zinke's nomination today, 68-31. After that, the Senate is free to vote on Zinke's nomination at its discretion.

As the new Secretary of the Interior, Zinke will be in charge of overseeing federal lands, offshore drilling, and relations with American Indian tribes.

"Our great land is something we should be able to access, enjoy, and conserve". In January, six Democrats joined 16 Republicans to pass Zinke's nomination out of the Senate energy panel.

However, he recently voted in favor of a rules change that made it easier for federally-owned lands to be transferred to state and local governments.

The White House is expected to issue an executive order soon reversing former President Barack Obama's temporary moratorium on coal leasing on US lands, which is part of a wider review of the program.

But some Democratic lawmakers remained concerned about Zinke's priorities and how his approach to public lands might jibe with the White House's positions. He lives in the West.

In addition, the former Montana congressman defended the "multiple use" of federal lands that would allow recreational use to be combined with mining and energy exploitation.

Zinke also has "firsthand experience in trying to solve" problems faced by the Interior Department and has "shown he understands the need for the department to be a partner of Alaska and our Western states", Murkowski said.

Zinke also pledged to work with members of Congress on monument designations, noting the strong opposition to Bears Ears by Utah's congressional delegation and governor.



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