22:18 GMT +321 July 2019
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    David Bernhardt, a former oil and gas lobbyist, speaks before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at his confirmation hearing to head the Interior Department, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 28, 2019.

    US Senate Votes to Confirm David Bernhardt as Secretary of Interior Department

    © AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite
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    US President Donald Trump announced in a statement in February that acting Secretary David Bernhardt had been nominated to become the US secretary of the interior.

    The US Senate has confirmed former energy lobbyist David Bernhardt as the interior secretary, replacing former Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke.

    David Longly Bernhardt, 49, is an American attorney, oil industry lobbyist, and government administrator.

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    The announcement comes despite coastal state senators from both parties raising concerns about Bernhardt's plans to vastly expand offshore drilling, according to reports.

    The senators expressed concerns at the Interior Department's five-year offshore drilling plan, which could reportedly expand drilling into new areas of the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic. Coastal states like Florida are worried about the impact of a spill on their tourism industries.


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