Senate confirms Zinke for Interior secretary position
March 2, 2017
The Senate on March 1 confirmed Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., as President Donald Trump's Interior secretary.
The vote was 68-31, The Washington Post reported.
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson congratulated Zinke on his confirmation.
"We look forward to working with Secretary Zinke to protect our natural resources while allowing co-ops to continue empowering their 42 million consumers," Matheson said.
NRECA noted that many of the regulatory issues that impact electric cooperatives fall under the Interior Department's jurisdiction, including land-use activities, rights-of-way, and the Endangered Species Act rules administered by Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service.
Vice President Mike Pence swore Zinke into office during a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
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Zinke, the first Montanan to serve as a cabinet secretary and also the first Navy SEAL in the cabinet, said in a statement released by the Interior Department: "I am honored and humbled to serve Montana and America as secretary of the Interior. 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."