President Donald J. Trump has announced via Twitter that Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, will leave his position by the end of the year.
Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018
Zinke has been scrutinized by Democrats for questionable spending habits during his time holding the position and has even been the subject of at least seven investigations by the department's inspector general according to Bloomberg News.
But, Zinke has also been incredibly successful at positioning America to be energy independent. As noted by the Washington Examiner, on December 6th Zinke felt confident saying that "American energy dominance is within our grasp as a nation" after the U.S. Geological Survey "discovered one the largest new sources of oil and natural gas under Texas and New Mexico."
According to the Examiner, the director of U.S. Geological Survey also said that “Knowing where these resources are located and how much exists is crucial to ensuring both our energy independence and energy dominance.”
President Trump added that Zinke's possible replacement will be announced next week. Bloomberg also had scoops on possible replacements, nothing that whoever replaces will probably continue "the president’s campaign to roll back environmental regulations and promote American energy development."
"Zinke had championed using federal lands to pursue U.S. “energy dominance,” and that agenda will be continued by his likely successor as acting Interior Secretary: David Bernhardt, the agency’s No. 2 official. As deputy he’s played a key, behind-the-scenes role in shaping the department’s policies.Other potential contenders for the post include Cynthia Lummis, a former congresswoman from Wyoming; Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes; Adam Laxalt, the Nevada attorney general who lost his bid to be governor ; Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter; former Nevada Senator Dean Heller, who lost his re-election bid in November; and outgoing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. The role is typically filled by Western politicians who have experience navigating the vast federal lands."