U.S. Senate confirms David Bernhardt as interior secretary

4/11/2019
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U.S. Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt. Photo: DOI Twitter.

HOUSTON – President Donald Trump's nominee for interior secretary, David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a vote Thursday. During the short session, 97 votes were counted, 56 were YEAs, 41 were NAYs and three senators did not vote. The YEAs included Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). Those who did not vote include Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

Bernhardt succeeds Ryan Zinke, former secretary of the interior, and an $11 billion agency that oversees drilling and other activities on public lands. Bernhardt has been acting secretary since Zinke left the Trump administration in January.

“I congratulate David Bernhardt on his confirmation as Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Highlighted through his bipartisan confirmation, his unparalleled depth of experience at the Department and knowledge of energy and conservation policies will serve our nation’s public lands and resources well. It is no surprise to see this bipartisan vote of confidence in Secretary Bernhardt’s ability to lead Interior," said NOIA President Randall Luthi.

“NOIA looks forward to working with the Department of the Interior and we encourage timely decisions on important pending offshore policies, including: the final Well Control Rule, Atlantic seismic permits, an expanded National Offshore oil and gas Leasing Program, and a reliable and consistent schedule of future offshore wind lease sales," continued Luthi.


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