The Senate voted to confirm Wednesday Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to lead the Department of the Interior. he vote was 68-31. During his confirmation hearing, the Republican congressman promised to review Obama-era actions limiting oil and gas drilling in Alaska and said he rejected President Donald Trump’s past comment that climate change is a “hoax.” Like many of Trump’s nominees, Zinke agreed that the climate is changing but said the impact by humans was subject to debate.
Zinke has also ruled out the sale or transfer of federal lands, a position supported by many Democrats, and said he would prioritize maintenance funds for national parks and federal lands. As for the contentious debate over national monument designations — of which the Trump administration is being pressured by some to rescind — Zinke declined to commit to supporting such action but neither did he rule it out.
Zinke has served on the board of the oil pipeline company QS Energy. He is the first Navy SEAL ever to serve in a Cabinet.