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MT. Rep. Ryan Zinke (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Montana Representative Ryan Zinke has gained committee approval to be the next Secretary of the Interior.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 16-6 to move Zinke’s nomination to a floor vote before the full Senate.

Four Democrats joined all committee Republicans in backing Zinke, and one, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), abstained from the vote.

Zinke’s Stand On Transfer or Sale of Public Lands

Many Montanans are uncomfortable with the federal government owning so much public land.

Zinke has turned a few voters off with his stand on land ownership. In his Senate confirmation hearing he said, “I want to be clear on this point: I am absolutely against transfer or sale of public land. I can’t be any more clear.”

Zinke does support energy development on federal land that would benefit Montana if more of it could be allowed.

Coal mining and oil exploration are just two that many Montanans would like to see loosened up.

Zinke’s Stand on Climate Change

Zinke believes that the climate is changing but he also believes that there needs to be a balance between actions designed to combat climate change and energy industry jobs.

Some Final Thoughts

Zinke should gain an easy confirmation from the US Senate, since Republicans are in control and have the votes necessary for his confirmation.

Having this position filled by someone from Montana should be a positive for our state and the whole Northwest.

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