Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Photo: U.S. Department of the Interior
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Secretary Zinke still soliciting nominations for royalty committee

Secretary Ryan Zinke is still seeking nominations for a new royalty policy committee at the Department of the Interior.

Zinke re-established the committee in March to advise him on mineral policy and leasing issues on Indian and federal lands. He reserved up to four slots for tribes engaged in energy development.

But he appears to be having some trouble filling all of the slots on the 28-member committee. The department has twice extended the deadline for nominations, with the latest to be announced in the Federal Register on Friday.

"The purpose of the committee is to ensure that the public receives the full value of the natural resources produced from federal lands," the forthcoming notice reads.

The committee was previously known as the State and Tribal Royalty Audit Committee and tribes viewed it as another way to provide input and engage in oversight of decisions affecting their mineral estates. In some cases, tribes were able to address underpayment issues on their lands because they had access to federal reports and audits.

But the Obama administration let the committee's charter expire in 2012. Zinke introduced a bill to restart it when he served in the House.

Nominations for the committee are due by July 3, according to the notice.

Forthcoming Federal Register Notice:
30-day Extension of Nomination Period for the Royalty Policy Committee (To Be Published June 2, 2017)

Prior Federal Register Notices:
30-day Extension of Nomination Period for the Royalty Policy Committee (May 3, 2017)
Royalty Policy Committee Establishment; Request for Nominations (April 3, 2017)

Related Stories:
Secretary Zinke seeks tribal representatives for royalty committee (March 31, 2017)