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Zinke: Best Interest of US Is to Move Forward on Energy

Image: Zinke: Best Interest of US Is to Move Forward on Energy
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By    |   Tuesday, 28 Mar 2017 12:03 PM

It is in the United States' best interest to move forward on producing energy domestically, and rolling back Obama-era regulations on the environment and will be done in the "right" way through President Donald Trump's executive order on Tuesday, according to Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

"It's in our best interest to move on energy," Zinke told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program morning, before the executive order was to be signed. "Producing energy domestically and reasonable regulation is far better than watching it being produced overseas with no regulation."

Zinke said there have been catastrophes in many countries where energy is produced over the years, and energy independence will make the United States stronger overseas.

"Look at Russia," he said. "Russia is in the news every day. How do you combat Russia? Economically. We export liquid natural gas to Eastern Europe, replace a lot of what they're providing to Eastern Europe. Iran, the same thing. If we want to put pressure on Iran economically, we do that by supplanting their exports in crude. And we have to do that by our energy independence as well as infrastructure."

Trump's plan to roll back Obama's regulations has come under fire from critics who say it could be harmful to the environment, but it's better to produce energy in the United States, said Zinke.

He pointed to Congress pointing to the methane rule, passed earlier this year as part of a Congressional Review Act against the Bureau of Management's rules against methane venting and flaring.

"Everyone should realize my position on methane is that it's a waste to vent methane, but we need to have the injection systems in place," said Zinke. "But if you don't have a pipeline, you can't build collection systems and you end up isolating assets. We, as a country, all the above energy policy is prudent. We can do it right, hold industry accountable. But also jobs matter and there's a social cost of not having jobs in this country."

Coal also remains under discussion, but there are other technologies, such as in battery storage, "which could supplant coal in the future."

Coal is under a great deal of pressure, said Zinke, and he believes the market will dictate its future.

"I don't think the government should be in the business of picking winners and losers," said Zinke, but in having cleaner, more efficient energy.

"Look at our grid structure," said Zinke. "We need to work on the infrastructure. I'm a huge infrastructure guy. At the end of the day, investing in infrastructure now will be good for this country. [So is] investing in technology, investing in research so we can make our energy portfolio cleaner over time is the right and prudent path."

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It is in the United States' best interest to move forward on producing energy domestically, and rolling back Obama-era regulations on the environment and will be done in the "right" way through President Donald Trump's executive order on Tuesday, according to Department of...
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2017-03-28
Tuesday, 28 Mar 2017 12:03 PM
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