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Trump taps Rep. Ryan Zinke for Interior, adds another climate skeptic to the cabinet

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Via: https://thinkprogress.org/trump-taps-rep-ryan-zinke-for-interior-adds-another-climate-denier-to-the-cabinet-a9cb691fee54#.7ceayz5cy

By Samantha Page

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) has been asked to be Secretary of the Interior, according to Politico.

Zinke is also yet another climate denier skeptic to be named to Trump’s cabinet — although he has been considerably more circumspect than some other members of Congress, or the president-elect for that matter.

“It’s not a hoax, but it’s not proven science either,” Zinke has said. “But you don’t dismantle America’s power and energy on a maybe. We need to be energy independent first. We need to do it better, which we can, but it is not a settled science.”

Zinke’s nomination could be great news for big fossil fuel interests. The congressman has made it clear that he favors coal — over U.S. taxpayers. Zinke opposed efforts to reform the federal coal leasing program, which is estimated to cost U.S. taxpayers billions each year, by undervaluing public land. He was also a strong supporter of the successful effort to repeal the oil export ban, a move that is expected to increase U.S. exports while tying the country even more closely to the international oil market.

Environmentalists criticized Zinke’s selection, while recognizing that the Trump administration is building a pattern.

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