In an unexpected last-minute adjustment, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee reportedly delayed a vote to approve President Biden’s nominee to oversee energy efficiency laws.
The appointment of Jeff Marootian to run the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) by President Joe Biden was the subject of a scheduled panel discussion on Wednesday morning, but Committee Chairman Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., withdrew the item off the agenda.
The committee will now just discuss the 21 other agenda items instead of moving the nominee to a full floor vote as originally planned.
Marootian had previously held the positions of director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation and special assistant to President Biden when she was originally proposed to lead the EERE office in July 2022.
Since Daniel Simmons, who oversaw the office for the entirety of the Trump administration, left the DOE in early 2021, the job has remained empty.
In September, Marootian was appointed as the DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s senior adviser on energy efficiency and renewable energy.
His nomination stalled at the conclusion of the session, requiring Biden to renominate him in January. His confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee took place in November, and he was reported out of committee in December.
The DOE has pursued a number of energy efficiency regulations affecting a number of home appliances, including natural gas-powered stovetops, but since Marootian was hired to advise Granholm on energy efficiency and since his nomination was returned to the White House, consumer advocates have criticized these regulations as being overbroad.