Samuel Bodman, President Bush’s choice to be the next energy secretary, was scheduled to be confirmed by the full Senate late Wednesday after receiving the approval of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier in the day.

Bodman, who had been deputy secretary in the Treasury Department, succeeds Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, who oversaw the administration’s energy policy during President Bush’s first term. Prior to Treasury, he held a senior position at the Department of Commerce.

At his Senate confirmation hearing last week, Bodman declared his support for comprehensive energy legislation, saying it will be “among the most important matters to come before this Congress” in the upcoming months.

Bodman, 66, said he also would be an “energetic advocate” for opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and natural gas drilling. He indicated that ANWR was an important piece of the Bush administration’s energy policy.

Bodman, who has little energy background, admitted that he has much to learn about energy. “I haven’t even yet visited the [Department of Energy] building,” he said last week.

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