Ryan Zinke, confirmed by the Senate as interior secretary

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ryan zinke

This Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ryan Zinke’s nomination to lead the Interior Department, with 68 votes for and 31 against.

According to The Washington Post, Zinke will lead the department that manages a fifth of the land in the country, which is about 500 million surface acres. The interior has an impressively big environmental footprint, says the same source, while agencies decide how resources are managed, as well as which animals are eligible for being listed as endangered species.

A solid choice, says the GOP

Zinke, a former Montana congressman and Navy Seal, was considered by the Grand Old Party the best choice for this position, as he is well known for his understanding of how federal regulations on the cultivation of coal, natural gas and minerals on public lands work and how they can affect corporate revenue and diminish the number of jobs.

“I believe Representative Zinke is a solid choice for this position,” said Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and one of those who approved Ryan Zinke’s nomination.

“While we may not agree on every issue … I believe he will work with us in a thoughtful manner that is reflective of a true partnership,” she added.

Democrats are still skeptical

On the other side, Democrats were wary of the nomination, even though Ryan Zinke previously declared that he believes humans contribute to the climate changes. Also, the liberals are worried that he would eventually open more land to exploitation, at the expense of wildlife and their constantly declining habitat.

Zinke’s confirmation as interior secretary comes more than a month later after he was approved by the committee, with a 16-6 vote.