Interior Secretary Meeting with Coal Industry Lobby Group Board of Directors

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will speak to a room full of coal executives in Phoenix, Arizona at the National Mining Association (“NMA”) Spring Board of Directors meeting, according to a tweet from the keynote speaker of the event, Jim Carroll.

“I’m down in Phoenix Arizona, I’m about to go on stage to be the opening keynote speaker for the National Mining Association Spring Board of Directors meeting,” Carroll stated in a video he posted on Monday morning outside of the event. “This is a pretty hardcore meeting. I’ve got the CEO’s of most of the major world’s mining companies in the room. I’ve got Ryan Zinke, the Minister of the Interior for the U.S. government. I’ve got the Governor of Arizona in the room.”

The Associated Press first revealed Zinke was scheduled to meet with NMA in Arizona on Monday, but not did specify any further details.

This is not the first time NMA has hosted key officials in the Trump Administration. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt attended the NMA Spring board meeting last year in Naples, Florida, according to Pruitt’s schedule released by the New York Times.  Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta spoke at the NMA 2017 fall board meeting, according to a report by the Washington Post . That event took place at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.. According to The Intercept, Zinke was initially scheduled to address the event at the Trump International but could not attend due to travel–Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt attended in his place.  

The Trump administration has delivered numerous wins for the coal industry since taking office. The Environmental Protection Agency is replacing two major rules from the Obama Administration that would significantly impact the coal industry: the Clean Power Plan, and Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”).  Secretary Zinke’s Interior Department has repealed the Obama-era ban on coal-leasing on federal lands, and reversed the closing of a loophole that would have led to higher royalty payments being paid by coal companies extracting on public lands.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, NMA spent more than $1.9 million lobbying expenditures in 2017.

Image used under Creative Common, by Gage Skidmore.

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