The Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy is the head of the Office of Fossil Energy within the United States Department of Energy. The Office of Fossil Energy is responsible for several Presidential initiatives, including implementation of the Administration's $2 billion, 10-year initiative to develop a new generation of environmentally sound coal technologies, the $1 billion FutureGen project to develop a pollution-free plant to co-produce electricity and hydrogen, and the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve and Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve. The Assistant Secretary manages about 1000 scientists, engineers, technicians and administrative staff.
The Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The current Acting Assistant Secretary is Jim Slutz. Former Assistant Secretaries by recency include Jeffrey D. Jarrett, Acting Assistant Secretary Mark R. Maddox, and Carl Michael Smith. There have been ten former Assistant Secretaries in total, excluding acting officers. The Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy is 15th in the order of succession for Secretary of Energy. The Assistant Secretary is paid at level IV of the Executive Schedule, meaning he or she receives a basic annual salary of $143,000.