Democratic News

  • Under Secretary of Energy (responsible for nuclear, fossil, renewable energy, and electricity)
  • Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy
  • Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • General Counsel (responsible for legal matters affecting all energy sources)
  • Director of Minority Economic Impact (responsible for small and minority business advocacy)

Sen. Jeff Bingaman went to the Senate floor today and asked consent that nominees for five major Department of Energy posts -- with responsibilities that span the full range of U.S. energy resources and needs -- be confirmed by the Senate.

The Committee on Energy & Natural Resources approved all five nominees unanimously last year.  Four out of the five have been awaiting confirmation by the Senate for more than three months.  All five nominees are supported by every Majority senator.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) objected to Bingaman’s request, on the basis that the Department of Energy had not responded to his question about the utilization of depleted uranium at Paducah, Ky.  Senator Bingaman pledged to help him get a response from the Department.


In making the case to confirm the nominees, Bingaman stated:

Chairman Bingaman 

A frequent observation that I have heard on the Senate floor about energy policy is that the United States needs to have an ‘all of the above’ approach to energy.  I don’t know how we can execute an ‘all of the above’ strategy for energy when we have vacancies in the key government offices overseeing fossil energy, nuclear energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, small and minority business access to energy programs, and the overall legal framework for the Department of Energy’s programs.

“All five of these nominees are outstanding individuals who are especially well qualified for the positions for which they have been nominated.  These are important positions that need to be filled.  All five nominations were unanimously reported by our Committee on Energy and Natural Resources this last fall.  Four of them have been on the Calendar since November 10; the fifth was added on December 15.

“I am not aware of a single objection that has been raised on a substantive basis to any of them,” Bingaman added. “They deserve to be confirmed. I urge the Senate to confirm all five.”

Bingaman’s floor remarks detailed the qualifications of each of the nominees whose confirmations are being blocked.  His prepared remarks, which include a summary of those qualifications, are attached.  Click on the photo to view his speech.

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