WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted 74-26 on Thursday to confirm former energy company executive John Bryson as U.S. commerce secretary, over the objection of some Republicans due to his background as an environmentalist.

President Barack Obama tapped Bryson in May to replace Gary Locke as head of the Commerce Department, which has been at the forefront of government efforts to double U.S. exports by 2014. Locke is now U.S. ambassador to China.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Peter Cooney)