The Senate voted to confirm David Zatezalo as the Labor Department’s assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. The vote went along party lines, with 52 republican voting yes and 46 Democrats saying no. Democrats criticized the former coal mining executive for safety violations at Rhino Resources, his long-time employer. Republicans lauded Zatezalo’s experience in the industry.

Former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has been hired by the Wilderness Society to lobby on “conservation issues relating to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,” according to records posted last week. Dorgan is a senior policy adviser for the Washington, D.C., law firm Arent Fox LLP.

William Tumas, an associate laboratory director for the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has been elected a fellow by the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Tumas will be inducted during a ceremony in February in Austin, Texas.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) installed John W. ‘Jack’ Betkoski III as its new president at its Annual Meeting and Education Conference in Baltimore. Betkoski serves as vice chair of Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. Ellen Nowak of Wisconsin was installed as first vice president and Edward S. Finley Jr. of North Carolina as second vice president … The National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) Board elected North Carolina Commissioner ToNola D. Brown-Bland as its chair and Rhode Island Commissioner Marion S. Gold as vice chair. Each position is for a two-year term. District of Columbia Chairman Betty Ann Kane was elected treasurer and NARUC and NRRI Executive Director Greg White will serve as secretary.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator members have elected three directors to serve three-year terms on the organization’s board. Theresa Wise, an executive consultant at Amtrak was newly elected to the nine-member body. Incumbent directors Baljit “Bal” Dail and Thomas M. Rainwater were re-elected.