Ryan Zinke was confirmed and sworn in Wednesday as the 52nd Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The U.S. Senate voted 68-31 to confirm Zinke the morning of March 1, 2017, and he was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence at a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building later that evening.
Zinke is the first Montanan to serve as a cabinet secretary and also the first U.S. Navy SEAL in the cabinet.
“I am honored and humbled to serve Montana and America as Secretary of the Interior,” Zinke said. “I shall faithfully uphold Teddy Roosevelt’s belief that our treasured public lands are ‘for the benefit and enjoyment of the people’ and will work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are managed and preserved in a way that benefits all Americans for generations to come. This means responsible natural resource development, increased access for recreation and sportsmen, and conservation that makes the land more valuable for our children’s children. Importantly, our sovereign Indian Nations and territories must have the respect and freedom they deserve.”
In nominating Congressman Zinke, President Donald Trump said, “Ryan has built one of the strongest track records on championing regulatory relief, forest management, responsible energy development and public land issues in Congress. As a former Navy SEAL, he has incredible leadership skills and an attitude of doing whatever it takes to win. America is the most beautiful country in the world and he is going to help keep it that way with smart management of our federal lands. At the same time, my administration’s goal is to repeal bad regulations and use our natural resources to create jobs and wealth for the American people, and Ryan will explore every possibility for how we can safely and responsibly do that.”
“Our public lands can once again be economic engines for our nation by creating jobs in energy, recreation, and conservation,” continued Zinke. “By working with President Trump and Congress to reevaluate and fix flawed regulations that are barriers to job creation, we will unleash the economic opportunity within our borders. Creating jobs on public lands can and will be done in an environmentally responsible way during my tenure.”
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Interior Is Important To PA
The Department of the Interior oversees the National Park Service which has a significant presence in Pennsylvania, including more than two dozen national parks and recreation areas in Pennsylvania.
Importantly for Pennsylvania, Interior also houses the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement that oversees the regulation of active mines and the reclamation of old mines under the federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund.In addition, it houses the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which sets federal policy for endangered and threatened species, and the U.S. Geological Survey which not only is concerned about rocks, but also conducts a variety of other research on water resource issues.
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