GHG Daily Monitor Vol. 1 No. 227
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December 12, 2016

Trump Expected to Name Rep. McMorris Rodgers Interior Secretary

By ExchangeMonitor

Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) is expected to be named secretary of the interior in the Trump administration, The Hill reported Friday. President-elect Donald Trump “will tap McMorris-Rodgers, a five-term Republican who represents eastern Washington and is the chair of the House GOP Conference, to lead the department,” the paper reported, citing a source close to the transition team.

McMorris Rodgers was elected to the House of Representatives in 2004. She is the fourth-highest ranking woman in Congress, and the highest ranking woman in Republican leadership. She is also currently serving as a vice chairwoman of President-elect Trump’s transition team.

The congresswoman would be tasked with overturning environmental restrictions on energy production on federal lands, including the current moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands.

The Interior Department announced in mid-January it would issue no new coal leases on federal lands while completing a programmatic environmental impact statement of the U.S. coal leasing program. The review is intended to determine if the program is properly structured to provide a fair return to taxpayers, reflects its impacts on the environment, and will continue to help meet the nation’s energy needs. The agency last conducted a PEIS for the federal coal program in 1983-1984. That review process also included a pause on coal leasing, as did the previous four. Currently, approximately 41 percent of the nation’s annual coal production comes from federal land.

During his campaign, Trump pledged to open up federal lands for continued mining and drilling.

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