Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is emerging as President-elect Donald Trump's leading contender for interior secretary, three people close to Trump's transition team told POLITICO.
Fallin, a Republican who was in contention to serve as Trump's vice president, has been the governor of Oklahoma since 2011. Before that, she served in the U.S. House. She also chaired the National Governors Association from 2013 to 2014.
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She huddled with the president-elect at Trump Tower in New York City last week, telling reporters after the meeting that they discussed the oil and gas industry and Native American tribes in Oklahoma. She also touted a recent settlement with tribes in her state.
An advocate of oil and gas development, Fallin signed a bill last year that would prevent Oklahoma cites from enacting bans on drilling.
Fallin is a staunch critic of the Obama administration's climate change regulations for power plants. She signed an executive order last year saying that her state will not comply with the rules.
Fallin has faced criticism from environmental groups for her stance on climate change. In 2013, she questioned whether climate change was to blame for the state's drought. "It's just nature itself and the patterns that flow and so we're going to continue to pray for rain in the state of Oklahoma and hope we that we get some relief," she told a local radio station.
A Fallin spokesman declined to comment, and a Trump transition spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.