The Senate on Thursday confirmed Dan Brouillette to be the Department of Energy's deputy secretary and second in command to Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
The 79-17 confirmation vote comes a day after reports said President Trump may move Perry from the energy agency to head the Department of Homeland Security.
A source with ties to the Trump energy transition team said Brouillette's expertise on a variety of energy issues is impressive, suggesting that he could easily fill Perry's shoes at the agency if need be.
The energy industry applauded Brouillette's confirmation, with Dena E. Wiggins, president and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association, saying, "Dan has a wealth of experience in the energy industry and understands the importance of energy to the U.S. economy. We look forward to working with him."
Brouliette has served senior positions in and out of government, including stints as Ford's vice president for domestic policy and chief of staff for the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He also has been an energy regulator in Louisiana and was assistant energy secretary for congressional affairs under former President George W. Bush.