U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired the nomination hearing for President Trump’s choice for Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI), David Bernhardt.
In her opening statement, Murkowski expressed her support of Mr. Bernhardt’s nomination to be Deputy Secretary and recognized his substantive knowledge of the challenges Alaska and western states face with regard to the federal management of lands and waters.
“I believe Mr. Bernhardt is an excellent choice for Deputy Secretary,” Murkowski said. “He grew up in the West, and during his previous time at Interior, he gained significant expertise about a range of Alaska and western issues. I am confident he understands how critically important Alaska is to the Department, and how consequential the Department’s decisions are to my home state.”
Murkowski pressed Bernhardt about how he would distinguish his work with Alaska from that of the previous administration. Bernhardt committed to being more cooperative and collaborative with states, and to restore greater consultation with Alaska Natives and Native Americans by being respectful of their appropriate role in land management and stewardship. He also pledged to work with Murkowski, the rest of the Alaska delegation, and the state to develop a plan to help improve access to our resources and increase throughput for TAPS.Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Archived video and witness testimony from today’s hearing are available on the committee’s website.