And during the 2014 debate with Lewis, after suggesting that the issue of climate change doesn’t rely on “proven science,” Zinke added that “you don’t dismantle America’s power and energy on a ‘maybe.’ We need to be energy independent first.”

It’s true that a commitment to fighting climate change isn’t necessarily the only reason a legislator might support the expansion of renewables. As the costs associated with wind and solar power continue to fall, there’s a clear economic case to be made for clean energy as well.

So it’s not totally contradictory for Zinke to advocate for a diverse energy landscape while also making so many questionable comments about climate change — although it still doesn’t explain his signature on a letter to the president that called for both clean energy and climate action.

But he’d hardly be the only member of the Trump team to have taken a turn on the issue. Last week, an adviser on the Trump transition team raised eyebrows by comparing climate science to the flat earth theory — when only a few months earlier, he’d said in an interview that climate science is “pretty much irrefutable at this point.”

At the end of the day, the opinions Zinke has expressed most recently — as the new administration is preparing to take office — are the ones that we should be paying attention to. And as a person who’s been tapped to manage the country’s lands and natural resources, which may become increasingly vulnerable under the changing climate, that’s something to take seriously.