Trump’s Interior Secretary Pick and It’s Potential Impact to the Environment [Video]By Beth Golden, UniversityHerald Reporter
In the last week it has been reported that President-elect Trump will offer the position on Interior Secretary to Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a fellow Republican who's served as a representative of Washington state in Congress for 6 terms. As of this writing, Mr. Trump is reported to have selected Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana as chief of the Interior Department.
Whoever Mr. Trump picks and nominates for the position poses a threat to the environment and President Obama's effort to preserve natural resources and curb the country's carbon release. Both representatives McMorris Rodgers and Zinke are supporters of opening up federal lands and watersheds for harvesting oil and fossil fuels.
Donald Trump has been very vocal of his skepticism about climate change and has promised to change and dismantle the policies and control structures put in place by the current administration. His nomination of Scott Pruitt, the attorney general that sued the president and his government for its 'restrictive' energy policy, as chief of the Environmental Protection Agency draws a grim picture for environment advocates.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the first person rumored to get the position is a climate change denier and has fought hard in Congress all moves to regulate the emission of greenhouse gasses. The Scientific American reported that Representative McMorris Rodgers signed a pledge in 2012 with the group Americans for Prosperity, a group funded by billionaire David Koch.
The pledge promises that McMorris Rodgers will oppose any climate-related legislation that would raise any revenue for the federal government, including any form of Taxes. This is because she believes that the theories of climate change are inconclusive and current government regulations can destroy jobs and industries.
The Wall Street Journal ran a story earlier that Ryan Zinke, former Navy Seal and first-term Republican representative from Montana has been chosen by Mr. Trump for the Interior Department instead. Just like the President-elect, Zinke is also against the protectionist policies of President Obama.
The Interior Department has authority over 500 million acres of federal public lands, including some 400 parks and watersheds. Regardless of who gets confirmed by the Senate, climate change scholars and environmentalists worry on how either one of them can reverse existing policies and actions put in place to preserve the environment.