Roughly six weeks after former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he would step down from the post as the president's frustration with his multiple ethics probes came to a breaking point, President Trump announced on Twitter that he intends to officially nominate acting Secretary David Bernhardt to permanently fill Zinke's shoes.
I am pleased to announce that David Bernhardt, Acting Secretary of the Interior, will be nominated as Secretary of the Interior. David has done a fantastic job from the day he arrived, and we look forward to having his nomination officially confirmed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2019
As we noted following Zinke's announcement, Bernhardt is widely expected to pursue the same US "energy dominance" policies that dominated his predecessors' agenda. As deputy, Bernhardt played key, behind-the-scenes roles in shaping the department’s policies. In his professional career, Bernhardt has served as a lobbyist for Halliburton and other companies focused on the energy space.