Click here to watch Ranking Member Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered the following remarks at a business meeting to consider the nominations of:
- Dr. Geraldine Richmond, to be under secretary for Science at the Department of Energy;
- Ms. Camille Touton, to be commissioner of Reclamation at the Department of the Interior;
- Mr. Brad J. Crabtree, to be an assistant secretary for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management at the Department of Energy;
- Mr. Charles F. Sams III, to be director of the National Park Service at the Department of the Interior;
- Mr. Willie L. Phillips, Jr., to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission;
- Dr. Asmeret Berhe to be director of the Office of Science at the Department of Energy;
- Ms. Laura Daniel-Davis, to be assistant secretary of Land and Minerals Management at the Department of the Interior; and
- Ms. Sara Bronin, to be chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Chairman Joe Manchin (D-WV) postponed votes on Ms. Daniel-Davis and Ms. Sara Bronin.
To watch the full business meeting, click here.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Today, I will support five of the seven that you just mentioned.
“Mr. Sams will bring a fresh perspective to the National Park Service.
“Mr. Crabtree will bring a commitment to carbon capture technology to the Department of Energy.
“Mr. Phillips will bring a wealth of expertise in safeguarding energy reliability and affordability to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“Dr. Richmond will bring 40 years of experience to the Department of Energy’s scientific mission as under secretary for Science and Energy.
“Ms. Touton will bring a willingness to work with stakeholders from across the political spectrum to the Bureau of Reclamation.
“While I do not necessarily agree with all of their views, I do believe they are well qualified and deserving of support.
“I look forward to working with each of these five to address the various Wyoming priorities that are impacted by their respective offices.
“Not all the nominees before us today are well qualified and deserving of support.
“Dr. Berhe has been nominated to serve as director of the Office of Science at the Department of Energy.
“Dr. Berhe has been a professor of soil biogeochemistry for over a decade.
“She has focused her research on soil management and sequestering carbon in soil.
“Her background and experience has very little to do with the Department of Energy and the scientific community with which it collaborates.
“I will not support her nomination.
“I cannot support Ms. Bronin who has been nominated to serve as chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
“While Ms. Bronin has experience in the historic preservation field, I am concerned about the types of reforms to historic preservation programs she may pursue.
“If her record as a leading advocate for progressive zoning reforms in Connecticut is any indication, she is likely to attempt to alter the character, nature, and scope of the Advisory Council.
“The chairman and I have reached agreement to hold voice votes on – Mr. Sams, Mr. Crabtree, Mr. Phillips, Dr. Richmond, and Ms. Touton.
“I have asked the others for a roll call.
“I encourage members to join me in opposing them.”