Confirmation of Samuel Bodman as the new Department of Energy secretary is fairly certain given bipartisan support, but a vote by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources was delayed a week to ensure that senators? written questions about his DOE road map are answered. During a January 18 confirmation hearing, Bodman, who will replace Spencer Abraham, was gently quizzed by committee members from both sides of the aisle on an array of topics, including his stance on nuclear power, the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository proposed in Nevada, ?clean? coal, renewable energy development, and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Committee chair Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico) urged Bodman to focus on the thorny energy challenges facing the nation. ?You can?t just turn on a coal spigot because of energy problems,? Domenici said, noting that new nuclear technology is at least a decade away. The chair, who advocates hearty exploitation of the latest nuclear power plant technology, emphasized that he and his fellow members want a comprehensive energy bill supported by both parties. ?Our country has a lot of challenges, and we need to find a solution that we can all buy into,? added Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico). Bodman told the committee that the nation?s energy supply should be ?stable,? ?reliable,? and ?environmentally safe.? He said both pollution and dependence on foreign supplies need to be reduced. He expressed support for coal gasification and CO2 sequestration technologies, nuclear, wind, and solar power, and increased conservation. The nominee said he supported domestic drilling, including in ANWR, saying that the criteria are when and how to drill. ?We regulate drilling more effectively than any other country, so I?d rather see it go on in this country,? he said. Domenici was quick to remind him how controversial the issue of drilling in the remote wildlife preserve is, saying it is a filibuster issue and will not be included in a bipartisan energy bill. Bingaman asked Bodman whether he would put an end to the DOE?s stalling against the Government Accountability Office inquiry into the department?s implementation of the Bush administration?s controversial 2001 national energy policy. Bodman said he would look into the matter. He also said he would work to ensure that there was adequate funding to continue the development of the Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive nuke dump. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) squeezed a promise out of Bodman to take privatization of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) off the discussion table. ?I am personally opposed to privatization of BPA, and so is the administration,? Bodman stated. A vote on the appointee?s confirmation is expected January 26.