President Donald Trump has nominated Dan Brouillette to be the next U.S. Secretary of Energy, a move the president foreshadowed on Twitter weeks ago.
The formal step, taken Thursday, comes as the current energy secretary, Rick Perry, plans to leave the president's cabinet by the end of the year.
Perry, the former governor of Texas, is entangled in the impeachment inquiry into the president, and was subpoenaed early last month. Perry's name has been raised multiple times during closed-door depositions in Washington, D.C., recently released transcripts show.
Brouillette, Perry's deputy, must be confirmed by the Senate before taking the No. 1 seat at the Department of Energy, which stewards the sprawling Savannah River Site south of Aiken. The department has long reach, overseeing everything from energy policy to nuclear weapons to international nonproliferation.
A nomination hearing has been set for Nov. 14.
Perry – who has previously said he will be returning to the Lone Star State – backed Brouillette in a statement, expressing confidence in the president's pick.
"I fully endorse President Trump's decision to nominate Dan and urge the U.S. Senate to expeditiously confirm him," Perry said Thursday in his statement. "I look forward to seeing all that the department accomplishes under his steady leadership as secretary of energy."
Before becoming the deputy secretary of energy, Brouillette was the senior vice president and head of public policy at the United Services Automobile Association, often referred to as USAA. Prior to that, he was a vice president at Ford Motor Company.
Brouillette is no stranger to the Aiken County or two-state areas.
Earlier this year, the deputy secretary visited the Savannah River Site and saw "first-hand the progress being made" on the proposed plutonium pit production mission, a DOE spokesperson previously told the Aiken Standard. Brouillette also visited USC Aiken, where he sat down with the chancellor, Dr. Sandra Jordan, and in part discussed the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, an in-flux project meant to better integrate work at SRS with commercial and educational spheres.
According to Jordan, Brouillette "expressed his very deep interest in and support for" the multimillion-dollar AMC project.
Brouillette, like Perry, has also been to Plant Vogtle in Georgia, about an hour south of Aiken.