McConnell, the 12th AFE in the DOE’s history, was confirmed by the US Senate on April 5, 2012 and had been responsible for managing the extensive research and development program of fossil energy including coal, oil and natural gas, as well as the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“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,” agency secretary Steven Chu said.
“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.”
The DOE did not indicate the impetus for McConnell’s move.
Prior to the DOE, McConnell was vice president of carbon management at Battelle Energy Technology and his experience included 31 years with Praxair, including the post of global vice president.
Fossil energy deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas Christopher Smith will serve as principal deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary.