USA: Zinke, Perry given nod for full senate vote

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Tuesday voted and approved President Trump’s nominees for Secretary of the Interior, Rep. Ryan Zinke from Montana, and Secretary of Energy, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who will now head for a full senate vote.

Zinke was reported favorably by a vote of 16 – 6, while Gov. Perry was reported favorably by a vote of 16 – 7.

Chairman Lisa Murkowski supported both nominations, which now head to the Senate floor for confirmation. Lisa Murkowski is the Senator from Alaska, and a member of the Republican Party.

She said: “I look forward to partnering with Congressman Zinke and Gov. Perry, who will lead departments that contribute significantly to our nation’s economic prosperity and national security,” Murkowski said.

“I am eager to work with Congressman Zinke to restore balance and trust to the management of our public lands, and with Gov. Perry to address high energy costs in rural Alaska, among other challenges. Given the bipartisan support that both nominees received today, I am hopeful that their nominations will be taken up and confirmed quickly by the full Senate,” Murkowski added.

On the other hand, Maria Cantwell, Ranking Member of the committee, voted against both of the nominees. Cantwell is the junior Senator from Washington, and a member of the Democratic Party.

She said, Perry’s testimony before the committee left “a great deal of doubt to his commitment,” on the matters of climate science and efficiency programs.

“After reviewing the transcripts and questions for the record, the governor’s responses left me wondering whether he would stand up and fight the White House’s approach to these programs.

“The department is responsible for much of the science that goes into assessing the speed and intensity with which climate change is occurring and what we should do to improve our reliance on energy efficiency and clean energy.”

As for Zinke, who would lead the Department of the Interior, Cantwell said: “I am concerned that the Trump administration has made it clear that it wants to pursue an aggressive energy development agenda—undoing reasonable protections—on environmentally sensitive lands and waters. And they want to renew efforts at reversing protections both onshore and offshore. So, I hope that this conversation about how we provide good stewardship will continue.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff