Interior Sec'y Zinke on EPA Rollbacks: It's Jobs Day in Washington, D.C.

President Trump was set to sign an executive order Tuesday which would roll back the Clean Power Plan, an initiative that restricts greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fueled power plants. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appeared on the FOX Business Network to discuss what this means for the energy industry and jobs in America.

When asked whether the executive order would boost job growth, Zinke told host Maria Bartiromo:

“It will, but it is jobs day and it’s important to realize really three things. First of all, that we need jobs and there is a social cost of not having jobs in America. And you need reliable and affordable energy for manufacturing.  Lastly, it is environmentally better to have energy produced here under reasonable regulation than watch it get produced overseas with no regulation.”

“The Interior controls about one-fifth of the territory of the United States and within that territory we have enormous assets of energy and mines and we’re going to do it right. I’m very much a conservationist, as is the president, but we want to make sure we use our public lands in the right way and that’s creating wealth and jobs.”

As the Dakota Access Pipeline project progresses, Zinke explained that boosting energy infrastructure is needed to keep America competitive globally and is a key part of the country’s foreign policy in dealing with countries like Russia and Iran.

“Strategically, it’s important of the United States to be not only an energy producer, but to be dominant where we need to. And we talk about Russia a lot in the news; if we are going to check Russia it’s about delivering liquid natural gas to Eastern Europe, sub-plan their ability to make cash – same thing with Iran.”

Zinke then weighed in on the Interior Department working with Homeland Security on a wall roughly 62 miles long, according to reports, along the U.S. border with Mexico.

“Interior owns about 40% of that and we’re looking at designs, we’re looking at where’s appropriate to make the wall.  Some places that are national parks down there, the wall is a 100-foot cliff.”