The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the nomination of Beth Robinson as undersecretary of energy Tuesday.
She would oversee environmental cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation.
Robinson has extensive experience with the federal budget and with science and technical issues that would serve her well in the new position, said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chairman of the committee.
Robinson is the chief financial officer at NASA and previously served as the assistant director for budget at the Office of Management and Budget.
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She has Northwest ties, including attending Reed College in Portland, and has congressional experience that includes serving as principal minority staff member for the House Committee on Science.
The committee approved the nomination by a voice vote. Next the Senate will consider final confirmation of Robinson.