Committee Reviews Nominees for Critical Leadership Positions at the Department of Energy

September 26, 2017

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider two of President Trump’s nominees for key positions at the Department of Energy (DOE). The nominees were Bruce Walker to be Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Steven Winberg to be Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy.

“The Department of Energy has helped make our nation a global technology leader by supporting basic research, encouraging scientific exploration, and fostering innovation. It is also meant to be our chief advocate for energy supply, which affects everything from our national security to market stability and prices,” Murkowski said. “These two leadership positions under consideration today are critical to helping us increase access to energy, make it more affordable, and continue to improve its environmental performance.”

In her opening remarks, Murkowski emphasized the importance of addressing high energy costs in rural communities in Alaska and elsewhere. During a trip to Alaska last month, Murkowski showed DOE Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette how Alaska could be the perfect “proving ground” for new technologies.

“It is important for DOE to form meaningful partnerships with communities and organizations in Alaska that will lead to lower energy costs,” Murkowski said. “We must work together to help bring more of our resources to market, including renewables such as hydropower, wind, and biomass. That also includes our stranded natural gas, and resources with significant potential like methane hydrates. We must find ways to diversify our energy resources and reduce energy costs.”

The Energy and Natural Resources Committee has already favorably reported a total of nine nominees who are now awaiting confirmation by the full Senate. That includes three nominees for DOE, four for the Department of the Interior, and two for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Murkowski noted that she will continue to press for their approval during this work period.  

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video and witness testimony from today’s hearing are available on the committee’s website. Click here  to view her round of questions with the nominees.