December 15, 2016

Wyden Statement on President-elect’s Nominee for Interior Secretary

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., to lead the U.S. Department of the Interior:

“The Secretary of the Interior is charged with protecting and properly managing our public lands, which belong to every American. I am encouraged by indications that Rep. Ryan Zinke recognizes the importance of keeping our public lands in public ownership, as well as his apparent support of making the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent.

“I will be asking him about how he will ensure our public lands can continue to be a source of local job creation through outdoor recreation opportunities and clean, sustainable development of renewable energy sources. Any energy resources produced on federal lands must deliver a fair return to American taxpayers, and clearly just turning public lands over to fossil fuel industries is a nonstarter.

“The Interior secretary also plays a role in responsibly managing forests in Oregon, which includes prioritizing wildfire prevention work, while safeguarding clean air and clean water and preserving habitats to allow all species to thrive. As a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will also be asking Rep. Zinke about how he plans to improve sustainable management of Oregon's forests and how he plans to put into action his support for ending fire borrowing.”

Wyden is the former chair of and a senior Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where the Interior Secretary nomination hearing will be held.