President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Department of Interior said today that he would consider reversing a decision from the Obama administration last year to halt oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, a move that could allow fossil fuel development in region.
“The president-elect has said we want to be energy independent,” Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Montana) said during his Senate confirmation hearing. “I can guarantee you it is better to produce energy domestically under reasonable regulation, than watch it be produced overseas with no regulation.”
Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who chairs the committee considering Zinke’s nomination, has actively opposed the Obama’s administration’s plan regarding oil development in her state. She asked if Zinke would commit to conducting a formal review and look into overturning it. He said he would.
The Obama administration announced its decision plan last fall, citing environmental concerns and fragile ecosystems in the area. “Given the…