Senate Confirms Dan Brouillette as New Secretary of Energy

Senate Confirms Dan Brouillette as New Secretary of Energy
Dan Brouillette speaks during a press conference at the Economy Ministry in Berlin, Germany, on Feb. 12, 2019. (Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images)
Melanie Sun

The Senate has confirmed Dan Brouillette as the new Secretary of Energy Monday night, with a 70-15 show of bipartisan support for the Trump nominee.

President Donald Trump formally nominated Brouillette, who has been serving as the Deputy Secretary of Energy, to be the next department head in November.
Following the vote, Brouillette, 57, took to Twitter to say that he was "honored to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to lead the outstanding employees of @ENERGY. Together, we are going to change lives for the better, keep our country secure, and conquer the challenges that lie ahead."

Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from coal-producing West Virginia, said ahead of the vote that Brouillette was "really the right person (at the) right time for this job."

According to the Department of Energy, Brouillette has three decades of experience in both the public and private sectors.

Brouillette was vice president at Ford Motor Company from 2004 to 2006. After that, he headed public policy for the United Service Automobile Association (USAA), which offers insurance and financial services to veterans. A native of Louisiana, he was a member of the state’s Mineral and Energy Board from 2013 to 2016.

Brouilette had also served in several roles within the government, including as chief of staff to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, and assistant secretary of Energy for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Brouillette said at his confirmation hearing last month that he was "proud to have been a part of the incredible success" seen at the department under the Trump administration.

"Through the power of innovation, the U.S. is leading the world in both energy production and the reduction of emissions. America has become the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas, and we will soon become a net energy exporter."

He added that "since 2005, national greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 13 percent, and power sector emissions have fallen by 27.6 percent, according to EPA. That is something we are very proud of."

He said he will back the department's research and development efforts for technologies to capture carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and burying the gas underground, given that oil, gas, and coal will still provide a large portion of energy needs for 40 to 50 years. "We have to get these technologies off the shelf and into the market," he added.

He finished by saying that the department will "play an important role in developing a brighter future for America" and that he looks forward to "focusing on DOE’s mission in energy security, scientific discovery, environmental stewardship, and national security."

Brouillette replaces former Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
With reporting by Reuters.

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