Brouillette, former Ford lobbyist, confirmed as energy secretary

The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Dan Brouillette, a former top lobbyist for Ford Motor who believes fossil fuels can power a large part of world energy requirements for many decades, as President Donald Trump’s second energy secretary.

The Republican-controlled Senate verified Brouillette 70-15.

Brouillette will take the place of Rick Perry, who stepped down on Sunday while at the center of Trump’s impeachment investigation in the U.S. House of Representatives for his role as one of the “three amigos” who ran a side foreign policy in Ukraine, under the US president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Perry has stated he did nothing wrong and his work in Ukraine centered on natural gas and coal.

Brouillette, 57, dealt with the questions at his confirmation hearing last month from Democratic Senator Ron Wyden about his own association with Ukraine. He stated that his work was focused on how U.S. energy supplies could assist the country find alternatives to fuel from Russia.

Wyden, who happened to vote against Brouillette, asked what the rush was to confirm him, while questions linger regarding the role of Trump officials in Ukraine.

Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from coal-producing West Virginia, stated prior to the vote that Brouillette was “really the right person (at the) right time for this job.”

Brouillette, a member of Louisiana’s Mineral and Energy Board from 2013 to 2016, is anticipated to firmly support Trump’s policy of increasing production of oil, natural gas, and coal, offering them for sale abroad, and rolling back regulations.

Before Brouillette became a Louisiana state energy regulator, he was an assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental affairs at the Energy Department under former US President George W. Bush.

Brouillette stated last month he supports technologies to capture carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and burying the gas linked to climate change underground, as oil, gas, and coal would provide a large amount of energy needs for 40 to 50 years.

“We have to get these technologies off the shelf and into the market,” Brouillette stated during his confirmation hearing.

He also supports nuclear power plants, but it is unclear how the Department of Energy can help reactors that are at danger of closing because of stiff competition from a glut of cheap natural gas and from declining costs for wind and solar power.

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