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