As of Thursday, MIT nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz was confirmed unanimously by the Senate as U.S. Secretary of Energy. Moniz’ confirmation fills the position of previous energy secretary, Steven Chu, who served in Obama’s first term.
President Obama said Moniz is “a world-class scientist with expertise in a range of energy sources and a leader with a proven record of bringing prominent thinkers and innovators together to advance new energy solutions.”
According to an article in the Washington Post, Moniz will face several challenges as energy secretary due to the administration continuing to promote renewable sources of energy and traditional fuel such as oil and natural gas at the same time. Moniz said he intends to follow Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy, which supports both fossil fuel production and clean coal technology. Moniz is also sympathetic to the natural gas industry, stating the increase in its production is a “revolution” that has led to reduced emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that cause global warming.
Although environmental groups are cautious to support the new secretary’s position on clean coal, they still see hope for the future of renewable energy.
“As energy secretary, Dr. Moniz will make important decisions that will shape America’s energy and climate landscape for decades to come…we urge Secretary Moniz to take a time out on exports to complete a thorough economic and environmental assessment,” said Deb Nardone, the Sierra Club’s Beyond Natural Gas campaign director.
Senate Confirms Ernest Moniz as Energy Secretary, huffingtonpost.com
Senate unanimously confirms Energy nominee Ernest Moniz, washingtonpost.com