Gov. Brown appoints Janine Benner to head Oregon Department of Energy

Janine Benner. (Photo: Oregon Department of Energy)

Gov. Kate Brown wants the acting director of the state Department of Energy to permanently take the helm.

Brown appointed Janine Benner to director of the department Tuesday.

Benner, an Oregon native, took over as acting director in October 2017 after the former director, Michael Kaplan, left his job to work at the Oregon Treasury department.

Benner started working for ODOE in February 2017. Before coming to work for the department, she was appointed by former President Barack Obama to work at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. She’s also worked for U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer.

“Janine is an innovative leader with a wealth of experience in management, energy policy, and climate change,” Brown said in a news release. “Her background and expertise will well serve the agency and further our ongoing efforts to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions in Oregon while keeping energy reliable and affordable."

If confirmed by Oregon’s Senate, Benner’s appointment is effective Jan. 2.

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