Committee Reviews Key Interior and Energy Nominees

Murkowski Plans to Use Extra Weeks of August Session to Push for Timely Confirmations

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, yesterday chaired a hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider six of President Trump’s nominees for key positions at the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of the Interior (DOI).

The nominees were Brenda Burman to be Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation at DOI; Susan Combs to be Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget at DOI; Paul Dabbar to be Under Secretary for Science at DOE; Douglas Domenech to be Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs at DOI; David Jonas to be General Counsel at DOE; and Mark Menezes to be Under Secretary at DOE.

“I’m pleased to have a total of six nominees before our committee,” Murkowski said. “Having a full panel here is an important step as we seek to ensure that Secretary Zinke and Secretary Perry have the members of their leadership teams in place as soon as possible.”

In her opening remarks, Murkowski thanked the nominees for their willingness to serve our nation and acknowledged the important roles they will play in carrying out the missions of the agencies, if confirmed.

“Each of our Interior nominees before us will have a big role to play in identifying the challenges and opportunities that exist for our federal lands, water management, and territories,” Murkowski said. “Secretary Zinke has proven to be an ambitious leader at Interior, and he made a very strong impression on many Alaskans when he traveled with me to the state. It is also important to note that should Ms. Burman be confirmed, she will be the first female commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation.”

“I have not yet been able to host Secretary Perry in Alaska, but I look forward to doing so and working with him, and all of you if confirmed, to continue the Department’s pursuit of scientific breakthroughs, transformative technologies, and energy dominance,” Murkowski continued. “I’ll look to you and your teams to help increase access to energy, make it more affordable, and improve its environmental performance.”

Murkowski also noted that with two extra weeks in session in August, she is intent on reporting qualified nominees as soon as possible, to give them the greatest possible chance to be confirmed before the next state work period. 

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video and witness testimony from yesterday’s hearing are available on the committee’s website. Click here and here to view both rounds of her questions for the nominees.