Trump will keep nuke agency administrator, for now - Albuquerque Journal

Trump will keep nuke agency administrator, for now

SANTA FE – The agency that oversees the nation’s nuclear labs still has a boss.

Last week, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico sent a letter to now-President Donald Trump saying his transition team had not asked the top officials of the National Nuclear Security Administration to stay on until Trump named new leaders. NNSA and its important national security work were in danger of being left to run on “auto-pilot,” Heinrich said.nnsa

Heinrich’s letter got national press attention. He also brought up the matter during a Senate committee hearing on former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s nomination to be Trump’s secretary of the Department of Energy, which includes the NNSA.

In New Mexico, the Los Alamos and Sandia national labs are overseen by the NNSA.

A spokesman for the agency confirmed Monday that NNSA administrator Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz had been asked to remain and was still on the job since Trump’s Friday inauguration as president.

Political appointees in the federal government are typically asked to submit resignations when a new president is elected, but incumbents can be asked to stay until the new president chooses to keep them or names replacements.

As reported by the Journal, Perry said at the Senate committee meeting Thursday that he’d had “a good conversation” with Klotz and had “sent the message that it would certainly be my desire to have that continuity.”

The website Gizmodo published a staff memo that Klotz sent out late Thursday — the day before the inauguration — that said, “To help ensure continuity in our critical nuclear security work, I’ve been asked to remain as the NNSA Administrator for a period of time. I’m truly honored to do so, and eagerly look forward to working with the incoming Secretary of Energy.”

He also noted that eight ranking members of the NNSA staff, all “non-career appointees,” including principal deputy administrator Madelyn Creedon, were leaving and commended them for their service.

In a related matter, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has endorsed Perry for the top DOE post. In an opinion piece published in Sunday’s Journal, Martinez called herself a “strong supporter” of Perry’s nomination. She wrote that Perry will “protect” New Mexico’s national labs “and continue to utilize them for groundbreaking research.” She also said, “Perry’s record proves we can have economic prosperity without sacrificing environmental standards.”

Home » Journal North » Journal North Recent News » Trump will keep nuke agency administrator, for now


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Ronchetti vows to amplify new voices at Capitol
ABQnews Seeker
Former meteorologist pledges to listen and ... Former meteorologist pledges to listen and bring change
2
Crisis center breaks ground to fill behavioral health care ...
ABQnews Seeker
The crisis triage center is expected ... The crisis triage center is expected to open in January 2024
3
National search for UNM top lobbyist yields six with ...
ABQnews Seeker
Michael Puelle, who has been working ... Michael Puelle, who has been working as Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller's chief of staff, was selected for the position and is scheduled to start ...
4
New Mexico's repeat child abuse rate ‘among worst’ in ...
ABQnews Seeker
40% of children harmed came from ... 40% of children harmed came from families already known to CYFD
5
UNM coach Pitino says of high expectations: 'We’ve got ...
ABQnews Seeker
Lobo basketball coach Richard Pitino sat ... Lobo basketball coach Richard Pitino sat down with the Journal for a wide-ranging preseason podcast conversation about his program.
6
Pelosi meets with New Mexicans affected by wildfires
ABQnews Seeker
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made ... U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a stop in Albuquerque on Monday to meet with students, elected officials and others affected by the Hermits ...
7
Top legislators hold off on changes to anti-harassment policy
ABQnews Seeker
Ivey-Soto case sparked concerns over process Ivey-Soto case sparked concerns over process
8
San Juan Generating Station to close this week
ABQnews Seeker
Farmington seeks court order to force ... Farmington seeks court order to force ownership transfer to the city
9
New Mexico's repeat child abuse rate 'among worst' in ...
ABQnews Seeker
40% of children harmed came from ... 40% of children harmed came from families already known to CYFD