Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says his department will be an advocate for the energy industry.
His remarks at the Offshore Technology Conference came after a pair of executive orders from President Trump. One directs the Interior Department to review national monument designations, the other opens up offshore drilling in previously-protected areas.
“How do we incentivize American energy dominance?” Zinke asked.
The secretary said he wants industry to trust that his department won’t maintain what he called “arbitrary” regulations about energy development on federal lands or in federal waters.
“We won’t change the rules after you invested,” he said. “We won’t change the rules in the fourth quarter and make sure the goalpost is never reachable.”
Zinke said he wants to balance preservation, conservation and economic development. But he also complained about protesters in this past weekend’s climate march, claiming they left garbage on the streets of D.C.
Surrounded by oil and gas workers, Zinke signed two secretarial orders. One starts the creation of a new five-year plan for selling federal offshore oil and gas leases, the other creates a new “energy counselor” job within the Interior Department. That person will coordinate – and promote – energy development on public lands.