Trump announces nominations of deputy chiefs for EPA, Energy Department

Trump announces nominations of deputy chiefs for EPA, Energy Department
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Congress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff MORE on Thursday announced the nominations of two officials to become the deputy chiefs of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Energy Department. 

Douglas Benevento will be nominated as the EPA's deputy administrator and Mark Menezes will be nominated to be the deputy Energy secretary. 

Benevento has held various roles at the EPA since 2017, most recently serving as associate deputy administrator. Before joining the Trump administration, he worked for Xcel Energy, a gas and electric utility. He was also registered as a lobbyist for Colorado Interstate Gas. 

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He is reportedly close with Andrew WheelerAndrew WheelerOvernight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge EPA will regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water Overnight Energy: Trump signs order to divert water to California farmers | EPA proposes new rollback to Obama coal ash rules | Green group ranks Bloomberg, Klobuchar last in climate plans MORE, the agency's administrator. According to E&E News, Wheeler was a groomsman in Benevento's 2000 wedding. 

Wheeler said in a statement on the nomination that he has "known and worked with" Benevento for years and that he is "uniquely qualified" for the role. 

Menezes has served as under secretary of Energy since 2017, advising the department on energy policy and energy technology. Before that, he worked as an executive with Berkshire Hathaway Energy. He has also lobbied for several energy companies

Menezes said in a statement released by the Energy Department that he is "honored" that President Trump intends to nominate him for the role and "grateful" for the opportunity. 

"I am proud of all the success our department has accomplished and commit to continue building upon this progress as we further our country’s energy independence and continue pursuing breakthroughs in American innovation," he said. 

In a statement, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette also praised Menezes. 

"The department has thrived under his steady leadership and expertise,” Brouillette said. “I urge the U.S. Senate to expeditiously confirm him and look forward to continuing to serve alongside my friend and colleague to advance U.S. energy independence and security.”