Republican News

Republican News

Alaskan Chosen to be Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement after President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Joe Balash to be the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the Department of the Interior. Balash is currently the chief of staff for Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and previously served as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. 

“Joe is an excellent choice for Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, and I’m incredibly pleased that Secretary Zinke has chosen him for this important position,” Murkowski said. “From his time in the Alaska governor’s office and as commissioner of natural resources, to his service as a Senate chief of staff, Joe is uniquely qualified for this role. He has significant experience on energy and resource policy, a demonstrated record of upholding Alaska’s interests as a landowner, and will make sure that America’s interests are well represented at the Interior Department.”   

The Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management is one of five Assistant Secretaries at the Department of the Interior, reporting to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary. The Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management is responsible for a variety of programs related to land management and resource development. The individual who holds this role directly oversees the Bureau of Land Management; the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; and the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement.

Murkowski is chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and plans to schedule a hearing to consider Balash’s nomination, once it is officially submitted to the Senate, in the near future.