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Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy to Depart Feb. 1

January 30, 2013 - 12:00pm


Washington, D.C. - Charles McConnell, who has spearheaded DOE’s efforts in the development of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies for nearly two years, has announced he will resign as Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (ASFE) effective February 1.

McConnell, who was confirmed April 5, 2012, by the Senate as the 12th ASFE in the history of the Department of Energy (DOE), has been responsible for office operations and managing FE’s extensive research and development program (encompassing coal, oil and natural gas) as well as the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

In announcing McConnell’s departure, DOE Secretary Steven Chu said:

"Charles McConnell has led the Department's efforts in the Office of Fossil Energy, helping bring a sense of urgency and adopting some best practices from the private sector to help further the agency's mission. Chuck enthusiastically supported a new strategy, carbon capture, utilization and storage and also helped broadened the focus of our oil and gas technology programs, focusing on ensuring that we can responsibly harness our nation’s diverse fossil resources. We thank him for his valuable contributions."

Prior to joining DOE, McConnell served as Vice President of Carbon Management at Battelle Energy Technology. He also spent 31 years with Praxair, Inc., in various positions in the U.S. and Asia, including Global Vice President.

Christopher Smith, FE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas, will now serve as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary upon McConnell’s departure.