Ryan Zinke, President Trump's nominee for Interior Secretary, was voted out of committee by a bi-partisan 16-6 vote (12 Republicans and 4 Democrats voted for him). His nomination now moves to the full Senate for confirmation, the date of the vote is not yet determined. We expect Congressman Zinke to be confirmed. Zinke will be the first Montanan to serve as Interior Secretary and this may prove vital to the issues he will face in his tenure. He will be taking charge of the Interior Department while the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is conducting a review of its Federal Coal Leasing policies, all of which are located in the western United States, a place Zinke knows well. We believe there is a possibility he will seek higher royalty rates, though perhaps not as much as currently proposed by the BLM, and he will not support the carbon tax proposed by the same BLM study.