- Title: Trump Interior nominee would review Obama's limits on oil drilling
- Date: 17th January 2017
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JANUARY 17, 2017) (UNRESTRICTED POOL - NONE) MONTANA CONGRESSMAN RYAN ZINKE STANDING BEFORE COMMITTEE ZINKE TAKING OATH PAN OF COMMITTEE ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIR OF U.S SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, SENATOR LISA MURKOWSKI, SAYING: "Are you, will you commit to a formal review of all of the Obama administration's actions that took resource bearing lands and waters in Alaska effectively off the table including the decisions that specifically prevented the leasing of those lands and those waters for development and determine whether or not they can be reversed?" Trump Interior nominee would (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DESIGNATE, CONGRESSMAN RYAN ZINKE, SAYING: "Yes. I think the president-elect has said that we want to be energy independent. As a former Navy SEAL, I think I've been to 63 countries in my lifetime, and I can guarantee you it is better to produce energy domestically under reasonable regulation than watch it be produced overseas with no regulation. I've seen the consequences of what happens when you don't have any regulation in the Middle East. We can do it right. The backbone of our environmental policies has been NEPA. (National Environment Policy Act) And I'm a strong supporter of NEPA. But we also have to understand that we need an economy. And look if we don't have an economy as a country then the rest of it doesn't matter because we're not going to be able to afford a strong military. Nor are we going to be all afford to keep the promises we've made as a great nation and we've made a lot of promises." ZINKE TALKING TO COMMITTEE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DESIGNATE, CONGRESSMAN RYAN ZINKE, ON PIPELINE PROTESTS IN NORTH DAKOTA, SAYING: "I have great respect for the Indian Nations. I'm adopted Assiniboine. You know the last time the Sioux nations all got together I would say General Custer probably was not was, we would say that was not a good issue. So you look at this and there is deep cultural ties, there is a feeling that we haven't been a fair consultant and a fair partner and so I think we need to listen that voice." ZINKE BEFORE COMMITTEE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DESIGNATE, CONGRESSMAN RYAN ZINKE, SAYING: "You know larger monuments that are millions of acres that don't have support of the community you know there's no doubt the president has the authority to amend the monument. It's always in the papers. It will be interesting to see whether the president has the authority to nullify a monument. But certainly my counsel will be.â€ (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATOR MARTIN HEINRICH, DEMOCRAT OF NEW MEXICO, SAYING: "What is your view on that?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DESIGNATE, CONGRESSMAN RYAN ZINKE, SAYING: "Legally it's untested on it. What I would prefer is again to work with in a collaborative effort with the states if the states you know like there are monuments and we've talked to great state of Maine on it and if the states comfortable with the monument as it is and have a management plan I think we should work with the state and be an advocate. If the state is upset about a monument they had a plan that's different from what was, what was done then and then I think we should defer a lot of that to the state." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATOR MARTIN HEINRICH, DEMOCRAT OF NEW MEXICO, SAYING "Can you point to a sentence within the Antiquities Act which is you know it's very short that authorizes rescinding a monument?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DESIGNATE, CONGRESSMAN RYAN ZINKE, SAYING: "There is no statement that authorize rescinding, and that's, I'm not an attorney. Thank God. (HEINRICH) That makes two of us and I think we are both grateful and our constituents probably are to. (ZINKE) But in the end of the day I would think that the president would notify mine and it would be challenged. And then the court would determine whether or not the legal framework allows it or not. I would hope the right path is we work with the states where that monument is." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS, INDEPENDENT OF VERMONT, SAYING: "Is President-elect Trump right is climate change a hoax? (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DESIGNATE, CONGRESSMAN RYAN ZINKE, SAYING: "I can give you. The best answer it is three things. First of all climate is changing. That's undisputable. I'm from Glacier National Park and I've seen more glaciers." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS, INDEPENDENT OF VERMONT, SAYING: "And you don't have any more glaciers there anymore huh?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DESIGNATE, CONGRESSMAN RYAN ZINKE, SAYING: "And I've seen I've seen glaciers over the period of my time recede. Matter of fact when my or my family and I have eaten lunch on Grinnell Glacier the glaciers receded during lunch." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS, INDEPENDENT OF VERMONT, SAYING: But I have, I have if you could get is the president elect right. Is climate change a hoax? (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DESIGNATE, CONGRESSMAN RYAN ZINKE, SAYING: "If I can give you two more points I'll make it short. The second thing is man has had that an influence. I don't think, I think that's undisputable as well. So climate is changing, man is an influence. I think where there is debate on it is what that influence is what can we do about it. And as the Department of Interior I will inherit if confirmed the USGS. We have great scientists there. I'm not an, I'm not a climate scientist expert but I can tell you I will become a lot more familiar with it and it'll be based on objective science. I don't believe was a hoax." COMMITTEE
- Embargoed: 31st January 2017 22:10
- Keywords: Donald Trump Interior Department Ryan Zinke Alaska oil drilling
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0015ZH145J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run the Department of the Interior, Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana, said during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday that he would review President Barack Obama's moves to limit oil and gas drilling in Alaska and some other parts of the country if confirmed.
"Yes," he said in response to a question from Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska about whether he would review drilling limits on federal land in her state as head of the department. "The president-elect has said that we want to be energy independent. I can guarantee you it is better to produce energy domestically under reasonable regulation than overseas with no regulation."
"We need an economy," he added.
The Interior Department oversees territories covering a fifth of the United States' surface from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico. This comprises sensitive wildlife habitats, iconic landscapes, rich deposits of oil, gas and coal and important pasturelands for ranchers.
The former Navy SEAL commander, an avid hunter and angler, emerged as a surprise pick to head the department, in part because he has embraced federal stewardship of national parks, forests and refuges. This diverges from the Republican Party's official position to sell off acreage to states that might prioritize drilling, mining, ranching and forestry.
But he has also fought for increased energy development on federal lands, a position that has worried conservationists but which fits neatly with Trump's vows to bolster the U.S. energy sector by scaling back regulation and opening up more publicly held land to development.
Over the last eight years, the Interior Department has sought to limit industry access to federal lands and played a key role in Obama's agenda to combat climate change, as it proposed rules aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions from energy production on federal land.
Obama's Interior Department banned new coal mining leases on federal property early in 2016. More recently the agency placed parts of the offshore Arctic and Atlantic off-limits to drilling and declared national monuments that protect large parts of Utah and Nevada from development.
Zinke said he believed Trump could "amend" Obama's moves to declare millions of acres as national monuments.
Zinke was the first of three Cabinet heads Trump has chosen to oversee his environment and energy portfolio to face Senate scrutiny this week.
Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, was to testify on Wednesday, and Trump's choice for Energy secretary, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, was to testify on Thursday.
Zinke also said during his hearing that he believes that humans contribute to global climate change but that there is still debate over what should be done about it. "I do not think it is a hoax," he said.
Before running for the White House, Trump called climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to weaken U.S. businesses, a position he has since defended.
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