Scott Angelle

Scott Angelle

Consider Scott Angelle one of those up-and-comers who never quite up and came.

The public service commissioner from Acadiana built a long resume in Louisiana politics, having previously served as St. Martin Parish president, cabinet secretary under Govs. Kathleen Blanco and Bobby Jindal, and interim lieutenant governor.

But Angelle's attempts to broach the highest levels of elective office fell flat. He failed to make the runoff in the 2015 governor race, despite ample financial backing from the oil and gas interests that he once regulated at the state Department of Natural Resources and that have such a strong presence in his home region. A year later, he lost a congressional race to upstart Clay Higgins, which pretty much ended his prospects of making another run for the state's top job.

That doesn't mean Angelle won't be moving on up. This week, the Trump administration appointed him as new director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, part of the Department of the Interior and the office created after the 2010 BP oil spill to oversee offshore drilling safety. The appointment does not require Senate approval.

Angelle is the second electoral also-ran to land a job in the administration; he'll be joining former U.S. Rep. John Fleming of Minden, who lost out in the 2016 Senate race. Fleming works at the Department of Health and Human Services. 

In a statement, Angelle made it clear he continues to see the industry as ally, not adversary.

“It is an exciting and challenging time for BSEE; I look forward to leading our efforts to empower the offshore oil and gas industry while ensuring safe and environmentally responsible operations,” Angelle said.

All in all, not a bad consolation prize for a politician coming off two big defeats. And not a bad consolation prize for the industry he'll once again be overseeing either.

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.