US Senate confirms Brouillette as Energy secretary; Manchin, Capito vote for nomination

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The U.S. Senate voted Monday to confirm Dan Brouillette as secretary of the Department of Energy.

Brouillette, who most recently was the department’s deputy secretary, replaces Rick Perry, whose resignation went into effect Sunday. Perry has insisted his decision had nothing to do with the congressional impeachment inquiry and his actions as secretary regarding Ukraine.

The Senate approved the nomination in a 70-15 vote; Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voted in favor.

Brouillette’s resume includes serving on the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, as well as the assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental affairs in the Department of Energy during the George W. Bush administration. He worked in the private sector as Ford Motor Co.’s vice president and USAA’s senior vice president.

From 2013 to 2016, Brouilette was a member of the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board, which oversees public lands in regards to the development of minerals, oil and natural gas.

“He knows the department, he knows Congress, and he knows the energy issues facing our nation,” Manchin said on the Senate floor.

President Donald Trump nominated Brouillettee on Nov. 7. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources — which Manchin is its ranking member — advanced Brouillette’s nomination in a 16-4 vote held Nov. 19.

“That’s pretty impressive in today’s toxic world we live in, sorry to say,” Manchin noted of the committee vote.

“He has a long history with energy issues and with the Department of Energy, so he’s not a stranger to this agency or to the workings of this agency.”

Capito, in a press release, pointed to Brouillette’s experience in the private and public sectors as evidence of his qualifications.

“I look forward to working with Deputy Secretary Brouillette in his new role to address some our state’s top priorities, including expanding West Virginia’s coal and natural gas, developing a regional ethane storage hub, advancing innovative research taking place at DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, and modernizing America’s energy policy,” she said.

Manchin and Capito were among the senators who voted in August 2017 to confirm Brouillette as deputy secretary; the Senate confirmed that nomination 79-17.

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