Interior Sec. Zinke promises review of coal leasing program

WASHINGTON (AP) – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is promising a comprehensive review of the agency’s coal leasing program, even as President Donald Trump moves to do away with an Obama administration moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.

Trump, who has vowed to revitalize the slumping coal industry, is expected to issue an executive order any day now abandoning the Obama-era moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.

Zinke said he will “look at everything across the board” on coal, adding that the department is likely to revamp the leasing program to ensure maximum value for coal companies and taxpayers alike.

The former Montana congressman was sworn in Wednesday as Interior secretary. He spoke to reporters Friday after an introductory speech to Interior employees.

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