Head of Energy Information Administration resigns

Newell’s departure comes amid budget cuts at EIA. The fiscal 2011 spending package cuts the agency’s budget by 14 percent. Newell told The Hill in April that the cuts will hobble the EIA’s ability to analyze how financial markets affect oil prices, among other things.

As of July 1, EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht will take over as acting head of the agency.

“With more than 30 years experience in energy analysis, Howard has consistently worked to provide leadership, planning, and management direction for the agency, and we are fortunate that he has agreed to assume this role until a new administrator is confirmed,” Chu said.

In a separate email this morning, Newell thanked his EIA colleagues.

“We have made huge strides together, improving our statistics and analysis in tandem with evolving energy markets, invigorating our efforts to communicate EIA’s work to diverse audiences, and strengthening EIA as an institution through organizational and management reform,” said Newell, who has served as EIA administrator since August of 2009.

Newell’s upcoming departure represents the latest turnover at the Energy Department, which has seen several senior officials leave in late 2010 or earlier this year.

Departures thus far include Under Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi, Chu’s chief of staff Rod O’Connor, Matt Rogers – who was Chu’s adviser on implementing the massive energy programs in the 2009 stimulus law – and others (see E2's pieces here, here and here).

Ben Geman contributed to this report.