Zinke Confirmed as Interior Secretary


Former Navy Seal Ryan Zinke, a congressman from Montana was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday to be Interior Secretary. It’s the same job Gov. Mary Fallin was interviewed for by President Trump. But she apparently didn’t pass the job interview.

Rep. Zinke was confirmed on a 68-31 vote and received the support of 17 Democrats including Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Tim Kaine of Virginia. He also received the support of Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester.

The Interior Department manages one-fifth of the nation’s land.  Oklahoma has daily contact with one of its agencies, the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The agency also oversees national parks, wildlife refuges, major Western hydropower dams and tribal lands.

Zinke’s confirmation left a bad taste with environmentalists.

“Zinke is really bad, but given the horrific standard that Trump has established so far, he’s actually a little better than the rest of them,” responded Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Zinke’s agency also has the job of implementing the Endangered Species Act, something that some Republicans want to reform this session. The department is also home to the U.S. Geological Survey which has been active in Oklahoma in light of the earthquake crisis linked to the oil and gas industry.





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