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Trump's Interior Secretary Pick Draws Mixed Reactions in the West

Gage Skidmore
Creative Commons

The energy industry is praising Donald Trump’s choice for Interior Secretary.

According to numerous reports, the president-elect is set to name Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to lead the Interior Department, which oversees the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and more. McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, supports expanded drilling on public and tribal lands. In 2011, she co-sponsored a bill to sell off 3 million acres of public lands in 10 Western states. The president of the Western Energy Alliance told the Denver Business Journal she is “a strong western woman who understands natural resources.” But environmental groups are voicing dismay. The executive director of the Western Values Project said the new administration seems to want to erase Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy of protecting valuable landscapes, while the Western Environmental Law Center said Trump “aims to dismantle America's best idea.”

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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