Dan Brouillette

In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette is interviewed on stage at the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. President Donald Trump nominated Brouillette to replace Rick Perry in the top job at the Energy Department.

The U.S. Senate has approved a Louisiana native’s bid to be the 15th secretary of the federal Department of Energy.

Dan Brouillette was confirmed by a 70-15 vote Monday evening.

Brouillette had been deputy secretary under former Energy Secretary Rick Perry, whose final day in that office was Dec. 1. Brouillette is currently acting secretary and will be officially sworn in as secretary at a later date.

“I want to thank President Trump for placing his confidence in me to help advance America’s national security, energy security, and economic security through groundbreaking science, technology and innovation,” Brouillette said. “I also would like to thank the Senate for its expedient review of my nomination and for the bipartisan support provided to me during the nomination hearing and tonight’s vote.”

Louisiana’s U.S. senators, both Republicans, praised Brouillette’s confirmation. Sen. John Kennedy called him a “rock star” who “exercises power intelligently, not emotionally.”

“Dan Brouillette understands that sound energy policy benefits energy workers, creates jobs and furthers America’s goal of energy dominance,” Sen. Bill Cassidy said. “Louisiana is fortunate to have one of ours in this position.”

Brouillette, an Assumption Parish native, was chief of staff to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce under former U.S. Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-Louisiana, and served as a member of Louisiana’s State Mineral and Energy Board. 

“Dan Brouillette will be an outstanding Energy Secretary at a critical time for both the U.S. and the world," former Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said. "Secretary Brouillette’s experience in the Department, on Capitol Hill, and in the international energy community makes him uniquely suited to address today’s energy challenges.”

Staff Reporter

David Jacobs is a Baton Rouge-based award-winning journalist who has written about government, politics, business and culture in Louisiana for almost 15 years. He joined The Center Square in 2018.