Montana Public Radio

U.S. Department of Interior

Congressman Ryan Zinke testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee January 17.
CSPAN

If the Senate votes to confirm Representative Ryan Zinke as the next Interior Secretary, he will become the first Montanan to hold a cabinet level position. This first has many Montanans wondering, how does this work?

Congressman Ryan Zinke testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee January 17.
CSPAN

While Representative Ryan Zinke awaits a full Senate confirmation vote to become the next secretary of the Interior under Donald Trump’s Administration, many Montanans are left wondering when that vote will actually happen. That includes Senator Jon Tester.

"I've got a notion it will be next week, but remember my crystal ball is awful cloudy, and it could be few weeks out," Tester says.

Congressman Ryan Zinke testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee January 17.
CSPAN

It took Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke less  than two minutes to win the backing of the GOP-led Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Tuesday.

After the 16-6 vote, Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska said, "Congratulations Representative Zinke. We look forward to working with you.” 

Energy Panel Postpones Votes On Energy, Interior Nominees

Jan 24, 2017
Rep. Ryan Zinke at his Interior Secretary confirmation hearing Tuesday
CSPAN

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has postponed a meeting that had been scheduled for Tuesday to vote on the nominations of Ryan Zinke and Rick Perry to head the departments of Interior and Energy.

Rep. Amanda Curtis, D - Butte
Mike Albans

Butte Schoolteacher and State Lawmaker Amanda Curtis made it official Saturday: She is seeking the Democratic party’s nomination to run for Montana’s U.S. House seat.

The Montana Capitol in Helena.
Mike Albans

This week, Congressman Ryan Zinke had his confirmation hearing this past week to become the next Secretary of the Interior. Assuming that Zinke is confirmed, Gov. Bullock will soon call a special election to fill Zinke's Congressional seat. Republican Ken Miller is the latest new candidate for this position.

Part of this week's conversation also includes a proposed bill that would set up long-term financing for future infrastructure projects by using coal tax money, and several bills aiming to update Montana's sexual assault statutes.

Lastly, the hosts discuss the women's marches taking place across the country the day after Trump's inauguration and whether this is the start of a long-term movement.

Join Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin now for this episode of  "Capitol Talk."

Rep. Ryan Zinke at his Interior Secretary confirmation hearing Tuesday
CSPAN

"It is an honor to appear before this esteemed Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources," Congressman Ryan Zinke said Tuesday, kicking off nearly four hours of testimony at his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of Interior in the Donald Trump administration.

He answered questions from Democratic and Republican senators, and had this exchange with Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders:

Sanders: President-elect Trump has stated in his view that climate change is a, "hoax." Is President-elect Trump right? Is climate change a hoax? 

Zinke Faces Tough Questions At Confirmation Hearing

Jan 17, 2017
CSPAN

Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Interior, had a four-hour confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee on Tuesday.

Coal train
(PD)

A yearlong federal review shows coal sales from public lands need to be modernized to deal with climate change and give taxpayers a fair return. The Interior Department imposed a moratorium on new coal sales last year. It's now considering raising royalty rates and requiring compensation from mining companies to offset coal's effect on climate change.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The U.S. Interior Department Tuesday canceled the final two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area between Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Reservation. The undeveloped leases were first issued in the 1980's in an area that is sacred to the Blackfeet Nation.

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