Montana Public Radio

U.S. Department of the Interior

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? 

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.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Courtesy Ryan Zinke

On Thursday morning, Congressman Ryan Zinke issued his first press release since media outlets broke the news he was President Elect Donald Trump’s top pick for Secretary of the Interior. In it, he wrote, "I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve Montana and America as Secretary of Interior."

The confirmation unleashed a mixed bag of reactions.

Sen. Jon Tester
U.S. Senate

This morning, Congressman Ryan Zinke confirmed reports that he was nominated to serve as the next Secretary of the Interior. Montana’s senior senator, Democrat Jon Tester, was in Helena today, and spoke with MTPR's Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney, about Zinke’s nomination.

Ryan Zinke will be President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of the Interior.
Courtesy Ryan Zinke

President-elect Donald Trump has officially chosen Montana Representative Ryan Zinke to serve as his interior secretary.

Zinke was an early supporter of Trump's and publicly sought a Cabinet post when Trump visited in May.

It’s been just over a day since news broke that Montana’s sole Congressional Representative Ryan Zinke may ascend to President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet. But Montana Republican and Democratic Party officials are already thinking about what comes next if Zinke accepts Trump’s nomination.

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