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Former Ford VP named deputy energy secretary

The Trump administration intends to nominate Dan Brouillette as deputy energy secretary, the White House announced late April 3.

Brouillette, who if confirmed will be second in command at the U.S. Department of Energy under Secretary Rick Perry, is senior vice president and head of public policy for USAA Insurance Group. Previously, he served as vice president of Ford Motor Co., where he was in charge of the automaker's domestic policy teams.

Before working at Ford, Brouillette was chief of staff at the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee and served as assistant secretary of energy for congressional and intergovernmental affairs from 2001 to 2003. He also was a member of the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board between 2013 and 2016.

Brouillette would join the DOE at a potentially transformational time. President Donald Trump has proposed cutting the agency's budget by nearly 6%, taking particular aim at its research and loan guarantee programs. Those reductions also may affect DOE's cybersecurity work, as the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability is among the parts of the DOE for which Trump wants to limit funding.

But congressional lawmakers are likely to fight the proposed spending cuts, making it unclear which DOE initiatives may be eliminated or streamlined.