Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke

President Donald J. Trump announced the nomination of  Timothy R. Petty to be the assistant secretary for water and science at the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI).

According to a press release, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke cheered the nomination. The assistant secretary for water and science is responsible for overseeing the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).

Petty currently serves as deputy legislative director and legislative sssistant on issues of water, natural resources, environment, science, technology and telecommunications and space for U.S. Senator James E. Risch of Idaho, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Previously, Dr. Petty served as Acting Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water & Science at DOI under President George W. Bush.

“Tim Petty brings years of quality service and experience to the team at the department and we could not be happier with the President’s choice for the position,” said Secretary Ryan Zinke. “Petty has served as the acting assistant secretary and deputy assistant secretary for water & science at the department before, and we are excited to put him back to work for the American people in the Trump administration.”

“I am grateful to President Trump and his administration for this opportunity to serve at the Department of Interior,” said Petty. “Secretary Zinke has a clear vision for addressing our nation’s water and earth science challenges, and I would be humbled to work alongside him to advance responsible solutions.”

“Throughout Tim Petty’s eight years of service in my office, he has proven his background in and deep understanding of the complex nexus of water and science,” said Sen. James Risch. “I can’t imagine a more qualified individual than Tim to support the secretary of the interior as assistant secretary for water & science. I don’t feel my office is losing his incredible talent, rather our country is gaining it and will be exceptionally served under his leadership.”

“As a member of Sen. Risch’s staff, Petty has intimate knowledge of Idaho’s water rights and the legal status of state control over water within our borders,” said Sen. Mike Crapo. “Idahoans, and water users in general, are getting the right nominee for Interior in Petty.”

“I applaud Secretary Zinke on his nomination of Tim Petty for assistant secretary for water and science at DOI,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “There is no doubt in my mind that Tim’s experience at DOI and in Congress will serve the agency well. It is also great for Idaho that someone with such direct knowledge of the issues in our state will be leading the way on solutions. I look forward to working with Tim and congratulate him on his nomination.”

“I am extremely pleased to hear that Tim Petty was tapped by the current administration to serve as assistant secretary for water and science for the department of the interior,” said Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter. “Tim has a deep understanding of western water and environmental issues and will be a valuable resource for the department and the State of Idaho.”

“I strongly support Tim Petty’s nomination to be assistant secretary for water and science,” said former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. “When I was secretary of the interior, I worked with him. Tim is thoughtful. He listens to all viewpoints. He is a problem solver. He has experience in working on issues related to water and science. These skills are essential for the policy leader who will oversee the US. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation.”

“Petty is an exceptionally qualified individual that brings a critical combination of scientific understanding and on the ground experience to water management,” said Ian Lyle, the executive vice president of the national water resources association. “His experience in water began on an Indiana farm and ranged to federal service in the department of the interior and the U.S. Senate. He is an unflappable professional that treats every point of view fairly. Tim’s perspective, demeanor and leadership will be vital as the nation works to meet the challenges facing agricultural and municipal water supply.”

“Petty has demonstrated a passion for water resources from an early age. He understands that maintaining a safe and plentiful water supply is critical to the health and prosperity of our nation,” said Dr. William Schnabel, the director of Institute of Northern Engineering at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. “He appreciates the power contained within our flowing waters – a power that can be constructive when harnessed for energy, or destructive when unleashed during times of flood. Moreover, he recognizes that utilizing our ever-growing capacities for science, technology, and engineering is the key to managing our nation’s water supply now and in the future. Petty’s experience provides him with a unique blend of administrative acumen and well-grounded scientific insight. This experience, combined with his unassailable integrity, will serve Petty well as our new DOI assistant secretary for water & science.”

“We are thrilled to learn of Petty’s nomination as assistant secretary for water and science,” said Paul Arrington, the executive director and general counsel of the Idaho Water Users Association. “As a Congressional staffer focusing on water issues in the office of Sen. Risch, we had the opportunity to work closely with Petty on resource issues. His expertise, combined with his ability to understand different sides of difficult issues, make him a natural choice for this position.”

Petty earned a Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks; an M.S. from University of Maryland University College; and a B.S. from Purdue University (Indiana). Prior to his current senate service, Dr. Petty worked for U.S. Sens. Connie Mack of Florida and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. In addition, Dr. Petty worked in California and Indiana as a geologist and hydrogeologist.