Trump picks congressman Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary

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Washington, Dec 14 (IANS) US President-elect Donald Trump has offered the position of the Secretary of the Interior to Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke, who will be in charge of developing the agenda previously proposed by the New York tycoon.

Zinke, 55, represents Montana district in the House of Representatives since 2015, and before that served in the US Navy SEALs for more than two decades between 1985 and 2008, EFE news reported on Monday.

Zinke will be incharge of federal land management, national parks and energy projects.

The Republican will also have the power of dismantling the policies pushed by the Department of the Interior during the Obama administration, which aimed to mitigate the effects of climate change, in order to promote the developmental agenda that Trump promised during the election campaign.

Trump has expressed his opposition to Obama’s moratorium on the lease of federal land for coal mining, and he has been in favour of the increase in sea and land oil prospecting in areas controlled by the state.

A few days ago it was the veteran Congresswoman Cathy McMorris who seemed to be destined for this position, but after Trump and Zinke held a meeting on Monday, McMorris confirmed that she will remain focused on the House of Representatives.

An agency with 70,000 employees and a budget of $12 billion, the Department of the Interior is responsible for the management of national parks, energy projects, prospecting and the management of vast tracts of federal land, mostly in the western US.

–IANS

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