Zinke says Interior should be a partner with oil companies


HOUSTON (AP) – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says his agency should be a partner with energy companies that seek to drill for oil and gas on public land.

Speaking Tuesday to a major energy-industry conference, Zinke described the Trump administration’s efforts to increase offshore drilling, reduce regulations, and streamline inspections of oil and gas operators.

Zinke says the United States won’t exhaust its resource of fossil fuels in our lifetime, but that cleaner-burning natural gas will take on a bigger role.

The Interior Department oversees vast stretches of American land and water. Zinke says the government should shorten the permitting process for energy infrastructure and that asking investors to endure the “uncertainty” of a long review process is “un-American.”