Senate confirms David Turk as deputy Energy secretary
The Senate confirmed David M. Turk as deputy Energy secretary in a 98-2 vote Wednesday.
Republican Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) were the only senators to vote against Turk’s confirmation in the full Senate vote on Wednesday.
Turk, who served on the National Security Council and in the State Department during the Obama administration, cleared the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in an unanimous vote earlier in the month.
Although the panel’s Republicans, many of whom represent energy-producing Western states, have frequently been sharply critical of the administration’s energy policies, ranking member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) praised him in the earlier vote.
“If confirmed, Mr. Turk must prioritize policies that take advantage of the tremendous economic and national security benefits generated by abundant oil, natural gas and coal resources that we have,” Barrasso said. “I especially appreciate his commitment to carbon capture utilization and sequestration technology as well as the need to construct CO2 pipelines to move that captured carbon.”
Barrasso reiterated his praise of Turk on the Senate floor ahead of the vote, specifically highlighting their mutual support for carbon capture technology and saying it was “clear from his nomination hearing that he is dedicated to all types of American energy.”
“Mr. Turk was also very responsive to the committee’s questions, for the record. That has not been the case for every one of President Biden’s nominees so far,” he added.
“Coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and renewables are all essential to America’s energy mix,” Barrasso said. “Mr. Turk demonstrated that he understood that reality during his nomination hearing.”
Turk, who also worked as the State Department’s deputy special envoy for climate change, had worked at the International Energy Agency since 2016.
“Growing up in a small Midwestern town, I saw up close our community struggle when the local steel mill downsized and laid off more and more workers,” Turk told The Washington Post in February after his nomination was announced.
“If confirmed, I’ll carry this experience to my work at the Department of Energy to make sure we listen to the voices of workers and families impacted by changing economic conditions so the clean energy future we build creates good-paying jobs in all corners of our country.”
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was previously confirmed by the chamber 64-35 on Feb. 25.