13:04 GMT +321 July 2018
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    Rep. Ryan Zinke, right, R-Mont., arrives in Trump Tower, in New York

    US Senate Confirms Trump Pick Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary

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    Senators approved Ryan Zinke to become the next secretary of the US Department of the Interior.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Senate confirmed in a vote on Wednesday Ryan Zinke to be the next secretary of the US Department of the Interior.

    Senators approved Zinke in a 68-31 vote.

    Zinke, a Republican congressman of the State of Montana, is a former Navy SEAL, and his wife was part of the Trump transition team working on veterans issues. Zinke has experience as the At-Large Representative for Montana, where he represented seven federally recognized tribes, advocating for tribal water settlements and federal recognition of one of Montana’s State Recognized Tribes.

    During his confirmation hearing in January, Zinke said the Trump Administration should revise former President Barack Obama's regulations on new gas or oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. Zinke also said the US federal government should partner with the people of Alaska to ensure a proper development of the region's resources.

    Last month, a coalition of 170 conservation groups sent a letter to the US Senate urging senators to oppose Zinke from becoming the next secretary of the US Department of the Interior, claiming that Zinke has a record of acting for the benefit of oil and gas businesses at the expense of environmental concerns.

    The groups also claimed Zinke has introduced legislation that would have lifted Obama’s moratorium on US federal coal leasing, which is considered to be a significant contributor to US carbon pollution.

    Related:

    Trump to Nominate Congressman Zinke for Interior Secretary
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    US Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, Donald Trump, United States
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