Senate Has a Duty to Clear Up Rep. Zinke’s Conflicting Record on Public Lands, Climate and Fossil Fuels

WASHINGTON – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today holds a confirmation hearing on President-elect Trump’s nomination of Rep. Ryan  Zinke to become secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior.

The following is a statement by Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Senators have a duty to clear up Rep. Zinke's confusing and, frankly, conflicting record. He’s spoken against selling off public lands but backed a recent measure allowing just that. He’s supported land and water conservation efforts but also indiscriminate oil and gas extraction on public lands. He’s both acknowledged and questioned climate change. And he’s put polluters ahead of people after accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the oil, gas and mining industries.

“Given what is at best a mixed record, it’s clear that Rep. Zinke lacks an abiding commitment to the Interior Department’s full mission. That is to protect our public lands and waters for the benefit of all Americans, to safeguard our cultural heritage and wildlife, and to honor the special relationship with indigenous people in America. Rep. Zinke is the wrong person for that job and we oppose his confirmation."

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC

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