Former Alaska AG now at Interior Department - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, September 26, 2021
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Former Alaska AG now at Interior Department

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Gregg Renkes, who was Alaska’s Attorney General under Gov. Frank Murkowski, has been named director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the Department of the Interior, where he will be advising on issues that matter to the Arctic, including climate change.

Renkes resigned as AG in 2005, after the news media accused him of negotiating a coal deal that ended up benefiting a company he had stock in. He was able to clear his name and show that he had already disclosed his stock ownership to the Alaska Public Offices Commission, but the partisan attacks continued, which resulted in his resignation to protect his family.

Sarah Palin, who challenged Murkowski in the primary, used Renkes as one of her centerpieces to run against crony capitalism in the Murkowski Administration. She teamed up with Democrat Eric Croft in demanding an ethics investigation of both Renkes and Murkowski.

The position for which Renkes has been tapped at Interior was formerly held by a man who is a climate change warrior.

Joel Clement was moved to another, less glamorous and less powerful role after President Donald Trump took office, and he soon resigned in a very loud and accusatory fashion, saying he had been fired in retaliation. In fact, the Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke simply wanted to move in a new direction and clean out at least some part of what has become known as the “deep state,” the powerful regulatory bureaucracy.

Clement, who has a master of Environmental Studies degree from Evergreen State College in Washington, went on to join the staff of the Union of Concerned Scientists, where he continues to bash the Trump Administration.

Renkes served as staff director of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and was Chief of Staff to Sen. Murkowski. He worked for the U.S. Senate for 12 years, where he was involved in restructuring the U.S. electric utility industry, reformation of U.S. high level nuclear waste policies, and U.S.-Japan and U.S.-China Nuclear Agreements. In both 1996 and 2000, he helped write the energy platforms for the Republican National Conventions and served on the transition team for the Bush/Cheney White House.

A member of the Alaska Bar Association. Renkes earned his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, a Masters of Science degree from Yale University, and a Bachelors of Arts degree from Vassar College.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comment

  • Ahhhhh, The Peter Principle proves its self again!
    Gregg Renkes, has been promoted to the highest level of his incompetence!
    Some may remember this yes-man whipping boy, back in 2004 when his boss (allegedly) told him to make a example out of of a guide named Dave Haeg, who was hired (permitted?) by the State to kill wolfs from his airplane, in the interior. And when he did, a rogue AST, unlimited resources & through Murkowski & Renkes’ henchmen (aka ADA Scott Leaders) did everything to that Alaska citizen, short of making him commit “suicide by cop”? It is worthy of noting, some 14 years later, 4-6 AST tried to kill him in a court room in Anchorage, during a Status Hearing! Thanks to no help from the cowardly Judge Morse, who watched the Tassing and arrest of Mr Haeg from his chambers doorway. (Case 4MC-04-0024CR)
    Now Gregg Renkes has moved up, unscathed and will retire a very wealthy man, that managed to stay one-step ahead of,,,, Karma?

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