Zinke Cheers President Trump's Nomination of Steven Gardner for Interior Post

Last edited 10/26/2017

Date: October 26, 2017
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald J. Trump announced the nomination of Steven Gardner to be the Director of the office of Surface Mining, Reclamation & Enforcement (OSMRE) at the U.S. Department of the Interior. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke hailed Gardner’s nomination.

“When confirmed, Steve will be an unbelievable asset to coal country and the entire team at the Department of the Interior,” said Secretary Ryan Zinke. “Steve is highly regarded in the mining industry for his extensive experience and insight. Steve will help Interior take the proper steps forward to ensure American Energy dominance is achieved, while also being a responsible steward of American lands. We very much look forward to a quick confirmation process.”

“I am beyond humbled and honored to be nominated by President Trump for the Director of OSMRE,” said Steven Gardner. “My whole life, I have been involved with mining on multiple levels, and I understand the importance of these issues to the communities we serve. I pledge to work every day on behalf of the men and women across this country who look to the OSMRE office as a partner in bettering life for all people on mining lands.”

Steve Gardner is currently serving as the President and CEO of ECSI, LLC, a consulting practice where he focused on natural resources, mining, reclamation, energy, environmental, health and safety issues. As a Licensed Professional Engineer, Gardner has worked on projects throughout the US and internationally. Gardner was the 2015 President of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) and is recognized as a Distinguished Member.

“I applaud President Donald Trump for picking Steve Gardner of Kentucky to lead the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE),” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Steve will be a strong leader and I look forward to the U.S. Senate considering his nomination.”

“Having Kentuckian Steve Gardner lead the Office of Surface Mining will be a welcome relief to Kentucky and the nation,” said Senator Rand Paul. “The last administration’s OSM ignored science and economics when it worked to put an end to Kentucky coal mining with an overreaching rule on waterways near coal mines. With Mr. Gardner’s background in mining, I am confident that this administration’s OSM will ease up eight years of executive overreach and finally allow Kentucky coal to compete again in our nation’s all of the above energy policy.”

“I applaud the Trump Administration for selecting J. Steven Gardner of Lexington, Kentucky as the Director of the U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement,” said Congressman Andy Barr. “I have known Steve for many years and I was proud to recommend him for this important nomination. As a well-respected leader in the mining industry with vast experience and knowledge, I am confident Steve will make an outstanding Director of OSM.”

“America’s mining industry welcomes Steve Gardner’s nomination to become the next director of OSMRE,” said Hal Quinn, the CEO of the National Mining Association. “A Kentucky native, Mr. Gardner has had a distinguished career as CEO of a prominent mining engineering firm with 40 years’ experience in mining, engineering, reclamation, environmental, health and safety matters. He is held in high regard by his professional peers having been elected President of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME), a professional society with over 13,000 members in 100 countries representing scientists, engineers and professionals serving the minerals and mining industries.”

Greg Conrad, Executive Director of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, also expressed his personal support for Steve Gardner noting his outstanding credentials and his knowledge of the intricacies of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, in particular the importance of state primacy under the Act as well as the state/federal relationship envisioned by the Act.

Mr. Gardner has an MS in Mining Engineering with a Graduate Certification in Environmental Systems and a BS in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Kentucky. In 2011, he was inducted into the College of Engineering Hall of Distinction. He has previously served on the University of Kentucky Mining Engineering Foundation, Kentucky Geological Survey, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering Advisory Boards, and was a member of the Kentucky Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors.

The Bureau of OSMRE is responsible for establishing a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations, under which OSMRE is charged with balancing the nation’s need for continued domestic coal production with protection of the environment. Although a small bureau, OSMRE has achieved big results by working closely with those closest to the problem: the States, Tribes, local groups, the coal industry and communities.