Senate Hosts Confirmation Hearings for Montana Rep. Zinke and Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt
January 20, 2017

The Senate this week held confirmation hearings for Rep. Ryan Zinke (Mont), President-Elect Trump's pick for Interior Secretary and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump's pick for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Zinke, a second term Representative and former Navy SEAL commander, has been a strong proponent of multiple-use on federal lands and a supporter of ASI affiliate, the Montana Wool Growers Association. The Department of the Interior holds jurisdiction over a number of issues of importance for the sheep industry, including the Endangered Species Act, sage grouse management, BLM permitting and allotments, and can play an immense role in ensuring sound-science is considered before removing domestic sheep allotments in preference to bighorn sheep habitat.

Pruitt was elected Attorney General of Oklahoma in 2010 and has been dedicated to combating unwarranted regulation and over-reach by the federal government. During his confirmation hearing, Pruitt repeatedly stressed the importance of working with the states and regulated businesses to repair the mistrust the American people have of the agency. The EPA has maligned many in agriculture through their "waters of the United States" final rule and other so-called clean air and clean water regulations.

The American Sheep Industry Association submitted a question for the record in the Zinke confirmation hearing asking for a commitment that BLM will work with sheep ranchers and stakeholders before making decisions on wild-sheep populations and assuring alternative grazing allotments be made available.

ASI supports the confirmation of both Zinke and Pruitt and urges the Senate to quickly vote to confirm these nominations after the inauguration.