July 20, 2017
On July 20, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing to consider nominations for key positions at the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of the Interior (DOI).
The nominees under consideration at the hearing included Paul Dabbar for the position of Under Secretary for Science at the DOE. The position aims to coordinate scientific efforts and expertise across the agency. Mr. Dabbar currently works at J.P. Morgan handling Energy Mergers and Acquisitions, among other issues. He is a member of the DOE’s Environmental Advisory Board, and has worked on Department of Defense (DOD) research at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Mr. Dabber was one of twelve nominations sent to the Senate on July 11.
On July 19, President Trump announced his nomination of Joseph Balash to be the DOI’s Assistant Secretary for Land and Mineral Management, among other nominations to key positions in his administration. As an Assistant Secretary for the Interior, Mr. Balash will oversee the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation (OSMRE). He currently serves as the Chief of Staff to Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and previously served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources from 2010 to 2013.
The committee approved the nomination last month of David Bernhardt to be Deputy Interior Secretary, but a floor debate has not yet been scheduled. Other nominations awaiting floor votes are Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) picks Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson who were also confirmed by the committee in June.
Sources: E&E News, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, White House Office of the Press Secretary