Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Senior Fellow and Director of Public Lands Matt Lee-Ashley issued the following statement on the nomination of Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) to be the next interior secretary:
Rep. Zinke is a coal executive’s dream nominee. He has been on a one-man crusade to preserve a massive loophole that allows coal companies to dodge royalty payments to Montana communities and U.S. taxpayers. The Billings Gazette has said that Rep. Zinke’s efforts are clearly intended to “rob Montanans (and all citizens) of money that’s rightfully theirs.”
The coal and oil industries’ massive contributions to Rep. Zinke also seem to have transformed him into a denier of basic climate science. His flip-flop on the science of climate change will raise questions about which of his other positions—such as his promise not to sell off national parks and public lands—can be sold to the highest bidder.
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