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DOE Infrastructure Lead Confirmed

JUN 12, 2023
Will Thomas
Spencer R. Weart Director of Research in History, Policy, and Culture
David Crane speaking at his nomination hearing

Former energy executive David Crane at a 2022 hearing on his nomination to lead the Department of Energy’s new infrastructure arm.

(Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee)

The Senate voted 56-43 last week to confirm David Crane as the Department of Energy’s under secretary for infrastructure.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-WY) staunchly opposed Crane’s nomination, accusing the former energy company CEO of being a “climate activist” and of “activism against companies that do not subscribe to his ideology.” However, six Republicans ultimately crossed the aisle to vote in favor of him: Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).

President Biden first nominated Crane to be under secretary last August and he has been serving since September as director of DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, a position he will now oversee as under secretary.

DOE realigned the under secretary role last year largely to oversee the office, which Congress created to administer the more than $20 billion in commercial-scale energy projects funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 . The under secretary also oversees certain previously existing offices, including the Loan Programs Office, which had its lending authority vastly expanded through last year’s Inflation Reduction Act.

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