New Energy nominee certain to stay the Obama course
Quick Take: It's no secret that President Obama is a fan of clean energy, a foe of fossil energy and an advocate of climate change measures. His selection to replace outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu certainly underscores his commitment to those principles. Indeed, it would be hard to find another candidate who so closely resembled Chu. Like Chu, Moniz is a brilliant, award-winning physicist from one of the world's top universities (MIT in his case). To quote the Washington Post, Moniz is "alarmed about climate change and devoted to funding scientific research into low-carbon alternatives to fossil fuel." â€“ Jesse Berst
Calling him "another brilliant scientist," President Obama named Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) theoretical physicist Ernest Moniz as his choice to replace Steven Chu as Energy Secretary. At MIT Moniz has headed up the school's Energy Initiative where the Washington Post says he oversaw reports on almost every aspect of energy.
He also has D.C. experience. Moniz was an energy undersecretary during the Clinton Administration and also served as an associate director of the White House's office of science and technology policy. He was appointed to Obama's Science and Technology Advisory Council in 2009.
By several reports an advocate of a low-carbon future who sees nuclear power enthusiast and natural gas as a way to get there, Moniz was getting slammed by some environmental groups even before his nomination was official. Huffington Post notes that some have characterized him as a "shill" for the shale gas industry. Another group, the Food and Water Watch, complained that his appointment "could set renewable energy development back years."