President Trump’s Nominees for Interior and Energy Easily Approved By Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Secretary of the Interior nominee Ryan Zinke and Secretary of Energy nominee Rick Perry were approved by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, paving the way for their confirmation by the full Senate.
The committee approved Zinke by a 16-6 vote, and Perry by a 16-7 vote.
Angering the Democrats on the Committee, Perry stated that it’s unclear how much global warming is caused by human activity and did not answer questions over whether fossil fuel use had to cease in order to combat climate change. Similarly, Zinke suggested there is still a place for fossil fuel drilling on federal lands, stating that mineral development would also include coal mining, as part of Trump’s effort to end the Obama administration’s “war on coal.” Zinke also said that he would support reversing the BLM’s rules for venting and flaring methane on public and tribal lands.
In a disappointment to Republicans, Zinke declared himself to be “absolutely against transfer or sale of public land” which runs counter to several areas of contention, including the mining law of 1872 and the Clinton-era ban on mineral patents.