Trump says he will nominate deputy to be new U.S. energy secretary

FILE PHOTO: Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy Dan Brouillette (L) attends a meeting of the “Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas” (III ECPA) in Vina del Mar, Chile, September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he would nominate Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, a former vice president of Ford Motor Co and Louisiana state energy regulator, to head the department.

“I am pleased to nominate Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette to be the new Secretary of Energy,” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter. “Dan’s experience in the sector is unparalleled. A total professional, I have no doubt that Dan will do a great job!”

If confirmed by the Senate, Brouillette will replace Rick Perry, who said on Thursday he would step down by the end of the year.

Brouillette, 57, has taken on increasing responsibilities at the Energy Department in recent months as Perry signaled he would resign. He went on international trips for the department and sat in for Perry during several Cabinet meetings.

Brouillette was vice president at Ford (F.N) from 2004 to 2006. After that, he headed public policy for United Service Automobile Association (USAA) which offers insurance and financial services to veterans.

A native of Louisiana, he was a member of the state’s Mineral and Energy Board from 2013 to 2016. Before that he served at the Energy Department as an assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental affairs for two years under former President George W. Bush.

Joe McMonigle, who was a department chief of staff under Bush, said Brouillette does not have the instincts of a politician like Perry, who had been the longest-serving governor of Texas. But like Perry, Brouillette has an easy relationship with many Democratic and Republican lawmakers, McMonigle said.

Brouillette, who met with Trump on Friday, is expected to keep pushing the president’s policy of maximizing oil, gas and coal output while slashing regulations on energy facilities.

“I don’t know of a single issue where he differs from the president,” McMonigle said.

Reporting by Makini Brice, Timothy Gardner and Steve Holland; Editing by Sandra Maler, Alistair Bell and Daniel Wallis

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