Interior secretary to meet in New Mexico

July 24, 2018

U.S. Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke is scheduled to attend an annual meeting Tuesday of the Conference of Western Attorneys General at Santa Ana Pueblo.

A schedule of the day’s proceedings lists the former Montana congressman as participating in a “fireside chat” with North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem at 11 a.m. The event is closed to the media and Zinke is scheduled to leave New Mexico the same day.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, a Democrat, has been fighting Zinke in court over the secretary’s efforts to suspend a rule on flaring methane, and threatened to go to a judge if the Trump administration moved to cut any national monuments in the state as part of a controversial review last year.

Zinke’s department includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs and controls vast swathes of New Mexico, including 14 million acres of Bureau of Land Management property.

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