President-elect Donald Trump offered the interior secretary position to coal industry proponent U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana, according to a Dec. 13 story from Politico.
The news comes after Trump was said to be considering U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., for the role. The Trump transition team did not immediately confirm whether it offered the job to Zinke.
Zinke has been a fierce critic of the Interior Department's January decision to suspend new leases for coal production on federal lands while the department reviewed its coal leasing program. He has also defended proposed West Coast coal export terminals despite opposition from environmental groups and backed tax credits for coal production on tribal lands in Montana.
The Interior Department manages energy development on federally owned lands and waters, and oversees the National Park Service, which is a bureau within Interior.