Even though many groups of environmentalists might not warm up to President-elect Donald Trump regarding environmental issues, the National Mining Association is more than pleased with his choice for interior secretary.
Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.) has been chosen to be Interior Secretary in the Trump administration. As one of the highest-ranking female Republicans in the United States Congress, McMorris-Rodgers is also a member of what is known as the Western Caucus.
Luke Popovich of the National Mining Association gives accolades to Trump for deciding on McMorris-Rodgers.
"We think it's a very good choice for a number of reasons," Popovich pointed out. "She is very familiar with all the land-use issues that we're concerned about as a mining industry. And then don't forget she's from the eastern part of Washington state – the Spokane area – which is one of the most mineral rich, resource rich sections of the entire country."
Seeing things differently, the Sierra Club stated in a press release that McMorris-Rodgers the wrong choice for America's public lands and wildlife.
"The Department of the Interior exists to protect and manage the nation's natural resources and cultural heritage,” the environmentalist group announced. “Yet President-elect Trump seems to have missed the 'protect' part of that statement when nominating Rep. McMorris-Rodgers to head the agency."
When asked whether the National Mining Association is concerned about the environment and the interior, Popovich had this to say:
"We are concerned about it, but we are also more concerned that we're not going to be able to use the natural resources that this country has if we continue the policies of the Obama administration – if we continue to develop policies and support extreme environmental groups that simply want to keep resources like coal, gold, silver [and] nickel in the ground," Popovich replied. "We've got to use these resources responsibly, and that's what we're hoping the Trump administration can do for us."
The Interior Secretary of any presidential administration may not be on everyone's radar, but the person in that position is involved in policies that have big implications on the economy.
"The issue here is going to be how is she going to strike the balance between developing resources that we need for our economy, as well as preserving lands that are going to be necessary for environmental protection and developed recreation," Popovich explained. "That, too, is very important, but I think – given her experience – she's going to be able to do that. "