Interior Secretary Announces Vincent DeVito
As Counselor for Energy Policy
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced the appointment of Vincent DeVito to serve as Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy to strengthen and better coordinate the Department’s vast energy portfolio. DeVito will advise the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretaries on all aspects of energy policy and ensure policy coordination among the nine bureaus with energy responsibilities within the Department. The new position was created through Secretarial Order 3351 (text-PDF) to advance the Trump Administration’s goal of American energy independence.
“Reorganizing the federal government also means identifying the best of the best in the private sector and using their talents to help achieve the goals and missions of the Department of the Interior; and that’s what we gain in Mr. DeVito,” said Secretary Zinke. “Like President Trump and myself, Mr. DeVito recognizes that American energy resources create jobs and revenue and that we can both promote responsible energy development and protect traditional multiple use through responsible stewardship of our treasured public lands for future generations to come.”
Mr. DeVito previously held several senior leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Energy and within state energy offices. Most recently, Mr. DeVito was a Capital Partner at the law firm of Bowditch & Dewey, LLP in Boston with a corporate, regulatory, and, government affairs practice. DeVito is a licensed member of the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York, and U.S. Supreme Court Bars.
ORDER NO. 3351
Subject: Strengthening the Department of the Interior’s Energy Portfolio
Sec. 1 Purpose. This Order establishes the position of Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy to ensure deliberate and active coordination of energy policy in the Department.
Sec. 2 Background. Energy is an essential part of American life and a staple of the world economy. Achieving American energy dominance begins with recognizing that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves. For too long, America has been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. The Department is committed to an America-first energy strategy that lowers costs for hardworking Americans and maximizes the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil. Nine of the Department’s 10 bureaus have significant energy programs and responsibilities. The Department’s energy portfolio includes oil, gas, coal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. The Department recognizes that the development of energy resources on public lands will increase domestic energy production, provide alternatives to overseas energy resources, create jobs, and enhance the energy security of the United States. Eliminating harmful regulations and unnecessary policies will require a sustained, focused effort.
Sec. 3 Authority. This Order is issued under the authority of 43 U.S.C. 1451, Section 2 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1262), and other applicable statues.
Sec. 4 Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy.
a. There is established in the Immediate Office of the Secretary, the position of Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy (Counselor).
b. The Counselor shall report directly to the Secretary, who retains all decision-making authority.
c. The duties of the Counselor position shall include, but are not limited to:
(1) Advising the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Assistant Secretaries, and Chief of Staff on all aspects of energy policy.
(2) Developing and coordinating strategies, policies, and practices that promote responsible development of all types of energy on public lands managed and administered by the Department.
(3) Identifying regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy exploration development, production, transportation; and developing strategies to eliminate or minimize these burdens.
(4) Promoting efficient and effective processing of energy-related authorizations, permits, regulations, and agreements. This includes, but is not limited to, working with the Assistant Secretaries and other Department leadership in prioritizing the work of bureaus/offices in developing and implementing energy policy and affairs; tracking progress of bureaus/offices; and resolving obstacles to energy exploration, development, production, and transportation concerns.
d. As directed by the Secretary, the Counselor:
(1) Represents the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and/or Chief of Staff on energy-related intra- and inter-agency meetings of high-level governmental officials;
(2) Chairs boards, councils, and committees concerned with research, development, exploration, and transportation of energy; and
(3) Represents the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and/or Chief of Staff before energy-related internal and external stakeholder meetings and conferences.
e. The Counselor undertakes such other actions as directed by and on behalf of the Secretary that relate to energy policy and affairs, including but not limited to coordinating:
(1) Policy and regulatory decision-making for domestic and international projects;
(2) Development of best management practices for energy projects on the public lands to ensure responsible development of energy; and
(3) Reviews of cost recovery in processing energy applications and monitoring of authorizations under the provisions of Section 304 and Section 504 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.
f. The Counselor works with other Federal agencies and offices, and state regulatory agencies and offices, to improve the coordination of energy policy.
Sec. 5 Implementation.
a. The Counselor and the Chief of Staff are responsible for implementing this Order.
b. Each Assistant Secretary and bureau/office head, including the Solicitor, shall designate a liaison to serve with the Counselor in accordance with this Order.
Sec. 6 Expiration Date. This Order is effective immediately. It will remain in effect until its provisions are converted to the Departmental Manual or until amended, suspended, or revoked, whichever occurs first. The termination of this Order will not nullify implementation of the requirements and responsibilities affected herein.