Alaska’s biggest champion in the Department of the Interior has resigned, Sec. David Bernhardt announced today on Twitter.
Joe Balash was appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Land and Minerals Management. He came from the staff of U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, where he had served as chief of staff. Prior to that, Balash was the Alaska commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.
In his resignation letter, Balash expressed his gratitude for all that had been accomplished and gave no indication about why he is leaving.
Bernhardt wrote on Twitter: “Assistant Secretary Joe Balash announced today his plans to move on from @Interior and I stand with @POTUS in thanking him for his exemplary service to the American people.”
Balash said he is leaving on good terms. The big headline issues for Alaska — ANWR, NPRA — are priorities of this administration so will not fall through the cracks, he said. There are many strong Alaska voices inside the Administration — Steve Wackowski, Tara Sweeney, Gregg Renkes, and Kate MacGregor.