Friday, December 02, 2016
Alaskan for Interior?
The United States Department of Interior manages roughly 198 million acres of federally owned lands in Alaska, a block that is 10 percent larger than the entire state of Texas. So, it is only fitting that two Alaskans – Robert Gillam and former governor Sarah Palin – are being floated as contenders for secretary of Interior as President-elect Donald Trump builds his cabinet. “Over 50 percent of our nation’s federally protected lands are located in Alaska. This is why it makes so much sense for an Alaskan to lead the Department of the Interior and champion our great state while guiding our nation,” Gillam explained in a written statement explaining his interest in the job. While both of these candidates would likely be more open to access and development of federal lands in Alaska than current Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell, Alaska’s mining community would much rather see Palin take the job, or someone from outside of the state, than to have Gillam hold such a high post in the Trump Administration. While Gillam may not be a household name, as founder and CEO of McKinley Capital Management, an Anchorage-based advisory firm that manages roughly US$6.7 billion in investments, he is well known in Alaska business and political circles. Though Gillam has little in the way of political experience, he believes President-elect Trump’s endeavor to fill his cabinet with savvy American’s outside the typical Washington D.C. political circles provides him with an opportunity to cap his successful business career with a high-level political post...more