Senate Restores FERC Quorum, Confirms Deputy Secretary of Energy

Committee Also Advances Five Nominees to Full Senate

August 3, 2017
08:00 PM

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement after the Senate confirmed Dan Brouillette to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy, and Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to be Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

“After six months, we have finally restored a working quorum to FERC,” Murkowski said. “Mr. Chatterjee and Mr. Powelson certainly have their work cut out for them, but I’m confident they will work to quickly get this independent agency back on track and tackle the important work that has been deferred.”  

The Senate approved both Chatterjee and Powelson by unanimous consent, after Murkowski worked to clear objections to their confirmation before the August state work period. She has also scheduled a hearing before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee for September 7, to consider two additional FERC nominees – Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick – and intends to move their nominations as quickly as possible once the Senate resumes session. 

“Mr. Brouillette is well-qualified to be Deputy Secretary of Energy and will be a good second-in-command to oversee programs critical to cybersecurity, energy innovation, and scientific discovery,” Murkowski said. “His long history of distinguished service to our nation and significant management experience will enable him to be a great leader for the Department.”     

Brouillette was confirmed through a strong bipartisan vote of 79-17.

The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources also held a business meeting to advance five nominees to the Senate floor. Three nominees are for the Department of the Interior: Brenda Burman to be Commissioner of Reclamation; Susan Combs to be Assistant Secretary of Policy, Management and Budget; and Douglas Domenech to be Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs. Two nominees are for the Department of Energy: Paul Dabbar to be Under Secretary for Science and Mark Menezes to be Under Secretary of Energy. 

“We accomplished a lot today, and favorably reporting five nominees out of committee was another important step toward ensuring the top leadership is in place at the Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy,” Murkowski said. “I am hopeful that we will be able to confirm these nominees – and the others we have received in recent days – shortly after we return in September.” 

Murkowski supported all of the nominees who were advanced and approved today. She is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and also spoke on the Senate floor before voting in favor of Brouillette’s confirmation and spoke on the floor during the confirmation of Chatterjee and Powelson.