Senate votes to confirm Energy’s No. 2 official
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Mark Menezes for the No. 2 spot at the Energy Department in a 79-16 vote.
President Trump nominated Menezes to be the department’s deputy secretary in March. He will replace Dan Brouillette, who previously held the role but was later promoted to Energy’s top job after former Secretary Rick Perry resigned.
Menezes has served as undersecretary of Energy and has advised the department on policy and technology since 2017. Before joining the Trump administration, he lobbied for Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which, through subsidiaries, produces energy from sources including coal, natural gas, wind, solar, nuclear and geothermal.
Other former clients include Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips, Koch Mineral Services and utility company Duke Energy.
Menezes was a relatively uncontroversial pick, as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced his nomination by voice vote. Just one senator, Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) expressed opposition to the nomination. She based her opposition on reports that the Trump administration was considering nuclear testing.
“He has excelled as the undersecretary of Energy,” said Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowksi (R-Alaska), referring to Menezes’s prior role, during a floor speech. “He’s helped to set the policy direction of the department. … I’m also confident that Mr. Menezes will be a great second-in-command.”