President Trump nominates former SME president Steven Gardner to head OSMRE

October 26, 2017

Steven Gardner, 2015 SME President, was nominated to serve as the Director of the office of Surface Mining, Reclamation & Enforcement (OSMRE) at the U.S. Department of the Interior by President Trump.  

The nomination requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate. 

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 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 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.” 

Gardner is currently serving as the president and chief executive officer 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 United States and internationally. Gardner was the 2015 President 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.” 

“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 SME.” 

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.



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