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Trump’s Interior Pick Wants to Save Our Public Lands by Drilling On Them

Conservationists are worried about Rep. Ryan Zinke's plan to drill and mine on federal lands.

Ryan Zinke, Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of the Interior, is planning to drill on public lands, set aside largely for outdoor recreation and conservation purposes. During his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, the former Navy SEAL commander and sole representative from Montana in the House of Representatives, talked about both his strong support of public lands, and the drilling and mining he wants to do on them. He is widely seen to be Trump's vehicle to carry out an aggressive domestic fossil fuel strategy. Throughout the hearing, Zinke tried to paint an image of a man who is a steward of public lands and the environment, despite his fossil fuel-friendly ideas. In response to a set of curt questions on the sale of public lands from Senator Bernie Sanders, Rep. Zinke said, "I am absolutely against the transfer or sale of public lands. I can't be more clear." Montana and many other states' economies in the West, rely heavily on hunting, skiing, biking and other forms of outdoor recreation, so public access to federal lands where people can engage in these activities is gospel. Read more on Motherboard