Consultant, former DOE official considered for top Trump posts

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, November 14, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is considering industry consultant Ed Davis to lead the government’s top nuclear office and Fluor Corp. executive Paul Longsworth to oversee the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, a source advising the transition effort said.

Davis and Longsworth are part of hundreds of names Trump’s team is circulating and vetting as it assigns potential new managers for the government’s sprawling agencies, national labs and weapons complex.

The team is working within six branches — choosing leaders for defense, national security, the economy, domestic issues, the budget, and agency “transform and innovation,” according to an internal document obtained by E&E News.

Leading up the effort for the Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission is lobbyist Mike McKenna. While Trump adviser and Continental Resources Inc. CEO Harold Hamm is often cited as a leading contender for secretary for DOE, the oil tycoon this week told his employees in an internal memo he was staying put (Greenwire, Nov. 10).

Other names percolating include David Hill, executive vice president and general counsel for NRG Energy Inc., who was DOE’s general counsel during the George W. Bush administration; and J. Larry Nichols, co-founder of Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp.

On the nuclear front, Davis, president of the Pegasus Group, is the front-runner for the position of assistant secretary for DOE’s nuclear energy or environmental management offices, the source said.

As the overseer of DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, Davis would have a hand in shaping research of new reactor designs, the national labs and nuclear waste.

If tapped to lead the Office of Environmental Management, Davis would oversee the largest environmental cleanup program in the world — 107 legacy sites large enough to cover Rhode Island and Delaware combined — left over from decades of nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research. To date, the office says it has cleaned up 90 of the sites.

Davis founded Pegasus in 2002 to advise nuclear clients and has served as president and CEO of NAC International Inc. from 1994 to 2002, where he helped pioneer dry-cask storage at nuclear plants across the country, according to his bio. He has a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Virginia.

The transition team is also considering Paul Longsworth, the vice president of Fluor, to lead the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semiautonomous office under DOE that has oversight for the U.S. nuclear warhead stockpile.

Longsworth joined Fluor Government Group as executive director of environmental/nuclear business development in 2005, after leaving a post as NNSA’s deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation under the George W. Bush administration. Longsworth worked in Fluor’s U.K. office focusing on environmental and nuclear business development.

Prior to joining NNSA, Longsworth served as the senior policy advisory for national security and the former Soviet Union for former Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham.

Longsworth is also a Hill veteran, having served as a staffer on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information, according to the agency.