Department of Interior

Ryan Zinke Picked to Be Trump's Choice for Interior Secretary
Had suggested he might challenge Sen. Tester

Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., is reportedly President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Interior secretary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and trained geologist, has been offered the post of Interior secretary by President-elect Donald Trump, according to a person familiar with the offer.

The 55-year-old Montana Republican was a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He has targeted energy and minerals policy as a member of the House Natural Resources Committee. Representing the eighth-largest coal-producing state, Zinke has been critical of EPA regulations compelling coal-fired power plants to either cut their emissions further or shut down completely. He also has criticized the Obama administration’s rules on royalties for fossil fuels extracted on public lands.

Mount Rushmore Chief Carver Finally Recognized
National Park Service centennial warrants a long-awaited honor

Luigi Del Bianco, the chief carver of Mount Rushmore. (Courtesy the Mount Rushmore National Memorial's Facebook page)

For its 100th birthday, the National Park Service gave a long-awaited gift to many Italian-Americans and all unsung artists: Italian immigrant Luigi Del Bianco was finally recognized as the chief carver of Mount Rushmore.  

The park service acknowledged on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Facebook page on May 4 that Gutzon Borglum, the designer and chief engineer of the project, had appointed Del Bianco as the monument's chief carver in 1935.  

Interior Department Says Final Arctic Drilling Rule Will Boost Safety
But Republicans, oil industry concerned over harming energy production

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski criticized the Obama administration for launching what she called a "regulatory onslaught" on drilling in the Arctic which would more likely harm energy production there. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Interior Department on Thursday finalized a rule it says will make drilling in the Arctic safer and more environmentally sustainable by requiring oil and gas companies to set in place systems to prevent and contain oil spills in the region's difficult weather conditions.  

The rule, first proposed in February 2015, requires drillers on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf to have access to a separate rig ready to drill a relief well in case they lose control of an existing well.