Federico Peña announced April 6 that he will leave the Clinton administration in June, just over a year after the former transportation secretary was sworn in to his second Cabinet post at the Energy Department. Nuclear waste, energy efficiency and new science and technology research were among the issues that dominated Peña's tenure. His nomination for the post began as a tug-of-war between Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the White House. The issue was a nuclear waste disposal site at Nevada's Yucca Mountain, and whether an interim storage facility the White House opposed would be constructed.
Sworn in: March 12, 1997
Resigned: April 6, 1998
Succeeded: Hazel O'Leary
Previous occupation: Transportation secretary, 1993-96; mayor of Denver, 1983-91; Colorado state representative, 1979-83; civil rights lawyer.
Education: University of Texas (both undergraduate work and law school); honorary doctor of public service degree from Florida International University, 1995.
Hometown: Laredo, Texas
Spouse: Ellen Hart Peña
Children: Two children
Of note: Peña served as secretary of transportation in the first Clinton Cabinet. He headed the transportation cluster in the 1992 Clinton transition team. Though five Cabinet members have remained in the Cabinet after the 1996 elections, Peña was the only one to switch departments.
Energy Secretary Peña Resigns
April 7, 1998
Clinton to Offer Plan To Deregulate Power
March 25, 1998
For Peña, Nuclear Waste Storage Is Hot Topic
Jan. 31, 1997
Peña Shifts To Another New Challenge
Dec. 21, 1996
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