Trump admin launches unprecedented staff shake-up at Interior Department

B Christopher/Alamy Stock Photo

Top career officials appear to be under siege at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Secretary Ryan Zinke gave notice to as many as 50 senior executive service officials that they are being reshuffled as part of a broad reorganization. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Dan Ashe, who worked at Interior Department for more than 20 years, told the Washington Post. Other critics noted that while staff shake-ups are legal, employees cannot be forced to change jobs based on their policy views or the priorities of the previous administration. That’s exactly what some people fear is happening with these changes, slated to take effect at the end of the month. David Sandalow, who worked on climate issues at the U.S. Department of Energy during the Obama administration, said, “The White House should be supporting their work, not trying to ‘deconstruct the administrative state.’ ” This disruption at the Interior comes at the same time that the Energy Department is eliminating its Office of International Climate and Technology.

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