Dan Brouillette, a former lobbyist for the Ford Motor Company, sailed through his Senate confirmation vote as Secretary of Energy with a 70 to 15 in favor of his confirmation.
He promised to fight for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) budget, although the administration has proposed cutting some agency programs by more than half and eliminating some key research and development programs like the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The bulk of their budget goes to nuclear weapons research, development, maintenance, and cleanup.
Mr. Brouillette also walked a fine line on climate change. He described global warming as “something we need to work on” but questioned the scientific consensus that climate change poses a serious threat. He promoted statistics that showed how American emissions have fallen 13% since 2005, but showed concern that our reduction of greenhouse gases is being nullified by rising emissions from China. He went on to criticize the Paris Agreement, which is in-line with the current administration – as they intend to abandon it next November.
Since 2017, he has been Mr. Perry’s second-in-command at the Department of Energy. During this timeframe he helped to promote the administration’s policy of “energy dominance” – expansion of oil and gas drilling to bolster U.S. fossil fuel exports. “I’m proud to have been a small part of the incredible success we have seen in American energy,” Mr. Brouillette told lawmakers at his Senate confirmation hearing.