Sen. Perdue congratulates Ryan Zinke on Interior Secretary confi - CBS46 News

Sen. Perdue congratulates Ryan Zinke on Interior Secretary confirmation

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON, DC (CBS46) -

Senator David Perdue congratulated Ryan Zinke Wednesday morning on his confirmation as head of the Department of the Interior.

“Congressman Zinke’s experience and commitment to preserving our wildlife and natural resources make him uniquely qualified for the position,” Perdue said. “I was proud to vote to confirm his nomination today and look forward to working with him to protect our country’s valuable resources.”

Zinke is a 23-year U.S. Navy SEAL veteran, and he served as Montana’s sole representative in the United States House. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geology and Master’s degrees in Business Finance and Global Leadership.

The Department of the Interior works to protect and manage the country’s natural resources, cultural heritage, and provide information to the public. The department’s mission statement also states that it “honors its trust responsibilities [and] special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives and affiliated island communities.”

Opponents of his confirmation said his former comments on the causes and severity of climate change are concerning, and were not wholly consistent with the general consensus of climate change scientists.

He's previously rejected President Trump's statement on climate change being a "hoax," but he also deemphasized the level of impact the fossil fuel industry has made.

“I know you want to be a Teddy Roosevelt-type of Secretary of the Interior," but right now you’re working with an administration which—in its own infrastructure bill—says they’re going to pay for it through oil and gas on federal lands, all of our federal lands,” said D-WA Maria Cantwell, who voted against him.

The 68-31 vote was also followed by a congratulatory Tweet by President Trump.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Connect with CBS46