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.
Cal. #8, Ryan Zinke to be Secretary of the Interior. Yeas & Nays ordered. The nomination was confirmed by a vote of https://t.co/SOmYJ3Dv4t— U.S. Senate Floor (@SenateFloor) 1 марта 2017 г.
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.
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.