Hearings and Business Meetings

Jun 16 2015

10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Hearing to Consider Energy Department Nominations

10:00 AM

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Chairman, Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee

Call to order the energy committee. We are here today to consider two of the President’s nominees for the Department of Energy.

Mr. Jonathan Elkind has been nominated to be the Assistant Secretary of International Affairs. He currently serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for that office.

Dr. Monica Regalbuto has been nominated to be the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management. She currently serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for that office.

Both of these nominees appeared before our Committee during the previous Congresses. We favorably reported both nominations on a timely basis. But neither nomination received a vote on the Senate Floor last year.

Mr. Elkind and Dr. Regalbuto, I welcome you both back to the Committee, and appreciate not only your continued willingness to serve but also to do so in the face of delay.

After legislative hearings in this committee featuring 22, 22, 26, and then 42 energy-related bills, our agenda today may seem considerably lighter – or, at least, easier to digest and easier to report on. But our obligation to provide advice and consent to the President under the appointments clause of the constitution is no less important than discharging our legislative responsibilities. So hearings on nominations are also a key part of our work.

The decisions that are made by individuals in the administration in positions subject to Senate confirmation often have lasting effects on our nation.

The decisions of the nominees before us today will be no exception. The positions for which they have been nominated are important within DOE, capable of affecting everything from our international relations to the cleanup of nuclear waste.

Your nominations are helped by the fact that Secretary Moniz has shown himself to be someone who will work with us, and who we can work with, even if we don’t always agree with him. Not only has Secretary Moniz made himself available to testify before the committee, to provide us briefings, he has also responded to our questions both in committee and out, he’s directed many other DOE officials to do the same. I greatly appreciate the level of communication we have had back and forth between the Department of Energy and certainly my office and this committee.

Mr. Elkind and Dr. Regalbuto, I trust that if you are confirmed, you will continue the positive relationship between the Department of Energy and our Committee.

I would also note that this hearing offers an opportunity for you to hear what is important to us – we expect you to take back to DOE with you, and what we expect that you will work with us, if confirmed.

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