Committee Reviews Key Interior and FERC Nominees

Murkowski Welcomes Fellow Alaskan, Joe Balash, to Serve in Key Role at Interior

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider four of President Trump’s nominees for key positions at the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The nominees were Joe Balash to be Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at DOI; Ryan Nelson to be Solicitor at DOI; and Kevin McIntyre and Rich Glick to be members of FERC. Upon his confirmation, McIntyre will be designated as FERC’s chairman.

“Having these two FERC nominees before our panel puts us one step closer to ensuring the agency has a full complement of five members. After finally restoring a working quorum last month, this will enable FERC to address a significant backlog of pending matters that reach far and wide into the national economy,” Murkowski said. “It is also another critical step forward to get Secretary Zinke and Deputy Secretary Bernhardt the help they need at Interior to effectively manage more than a quarter of the land in our nation, and about two-thirds of Alaskan lands.”

During her opening statement, Murkowski thanked each of the nominees for their willingness to serve our nation. She was particularly proud to introduce Joe Balash, who is currently the chief of staff for Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska. Sen. Sullivan was unable to be at the hearing to introduce Balash due to a death in his family.


Click on photo for an archived video of the hearing

“I’m delighted to have Joe before the Committee today,” Murkowski said. “He’s a fellow Alaskan, which should be enough to convince everyone to vote yes on his nomination. I’ve worked closely with Joe during his time in the Senate and at Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources, and I think he’ll be an excellent Assistant Secretary at Interior. He understands what is required to responsibly develop Alaska’s resources while working closely with all Alaskans. I certainly look forward to having him at Interior, and I know a lot of Alaskans, and a lot of westerners, feel the same way.”


Shown above (l to r): DOI and FERC nominees who testified today before the Committee:
Mr. Joe Balash, Mr. Rich Glick, Mr. Kevin McIntyre, and Mr. Ryan Nelson.

Balash hails from North Pole, Alaska. In addition to his current Senate service, he previously ran Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources. As Assistant Secretary, he will oversee the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and other key agencies within Interior. His nomination has received strong support from the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, North Slope Borough, National Rifle Association of America, Safari Club International Alaska Chapter, and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission.   

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video and witness testimony from today’s hearing are available on the committee’s website. Click here and here to view both rounds of her questions for the nominees.