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Energy secretary pledges to support 'smooth transition' between Trump, Biden

  • Updated

Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette on Thursday committed to fostering a smooth transition between the Trump and Biden administrations and, as rumors of a cabinet intervention swirl, suggested he would not resign.

“At the Department of Energy, my leadership team and I have been and will remain committed to providing the support and resources needed to ensure a smooth transition within the Department,” Brouillette tweeted. “To that duty, I will remain fully focused over the next 13 days in my capacity as Secretary.”

Politico reported a similar, if not identical, message was emailed to staff. President Donald Trump's transportation and education secretaries, Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos, resigned this week.

Brouillette’s comments come after an hourslong insurrection at the U.S. Capitol – “a tragic event,” he said, that demands reflection – and as Trump publicly pivots from combative to conciliatory, pledging there will be an “orderly transition” on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.

“We have just been through an intense election, and emotions are high,” Trump said in a Thursday address posted to social media. “But now tempers must be cooled and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America.”

The president, who spent weeks spreading claims of widespread voter fraud, previously said he would not concede.

Biden has already selected his energy secretary nominee: Jennifer Granholm, a clean-energy advocate and a two-term Michigan governor. If confirmed, Granholm, like Brouillette, would sit atop a department largely dedicated to nuclear weapons, national defense and nonproliferation.

The shift toward Biden’s team and away from Trump’s, Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon has said, means relationships nurtured “over the last four years will be moving on, so we will have to start having conversations and building those relationships with the new administration.”

The Energy Department oversees the Savannah River Site, the nuclear reservation south of Aiken and near New Ellenton.

Colin Demarest covers the Savannah River Site, the Energy Department, its NNSA, and government and politics, in general. Follow him on Twitter: @demarest_colin.

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