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Trump names DOE deputy secretary as agency's next leader

President Donald Trump said Oct. 18 that he is nominating Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette to lead the agency after Secretary of Energy Rick Perry resigns later in 2019.

"I am pleased to nominate Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette to be the new Secretary of Energy," Trump tweeted. "Dan's experience in the sector is unparalleled. A total professional, I have no doubt that Dan will do a great job!"

SNL Image

Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Senate confirmed Brouillette as deputy energy secretary in August 2017. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president and head of public policy for USAA Insurance Group and was a vice president at Ford Motor Co., where he managed the automaker's domestic policy teams. Brouillette also previously served as chief of staff for the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee and was assistant secretary of energy for congressional and intergovernmental affairs under President George W. Bush.

The announcement came a day after Perry notified Trump that he planned to step down as head of the U.S. Energy Department later in 2019. In a separate Oct. 18 tweet, Trump said Perry was leaving the DOE "to pursue other interests."

During a visit to Texas on Oct. 17, Trump told reporters that he has known Perry wanted to leave the DOE for six months, before the president's July phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that now is at the center of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Trump said he made the phone call, during which the president asked Zelensky to look into allegations involving 2020 U.S. presidential contender and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, at the behest of Perry. But during an Oct. 7 press conference in Lithuania, Perry said he made the request so Trump would discuss energy issues, and he never mentioned the Bidens to Trump, according to a CNN article.