Senate confirms Moniz as DOE head in unanimous vote

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By: SGN Staff

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Physicist Ernest Moniz, President Obama's nominee for Energy Department secretary, was confirmed in what can only be called a surprising unanimous vote: 97-0. He will succeed Steven Chu who served as secretary during Obama's first term.

 

Moniz had been a DOE undersecretary under former President Bill Clinton.

 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) delayed the Moniz vote for weeks, according to a Washington Post news story, in protest against the president's intent to cut roughly $200 million from a nuclear reactor fuel project in his state. While there is not much more to report at this point, there were plenty of reactions to the confirmation.

 

We share a sampling with you from energy industry and environmental groups, as well as Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), head of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

 

Edison Electric Institute President Tom Kuhn

“A visionary leader with excellent credentials for his new job… Moniz recognizes how critical it is to use all of our resources to produce electricity affordably, reliably and in an environmentally responsible manner for consumers."

 

Nuclear Energy Institute President and CEO Marvin Fertel

"We congratulate Dr. Moniz on his confirmation as Secretary of Energy and look forward to working with him to ensure that nuclear energy continues to play a vital role in our nation's energy and environmental policy. Sustained economic growth requires affordable, reliable electricity supplies. Nuclear energy is uniquely capable of adding significant amounts of electricity to the grid around the clock without emitting any greenhouse gases. Dr. Moniz recognizes this reality, and we expect that nuclear energy technologies will be part of a diverse portfolio of electricity options DOE supports to strengthen our nation and its economy in an environmentally sound manner."

 

Sierra Club Beyond Natural Gas Campaign Director Deb Nardone

“The Sierra Club and its 2.1 million members and supporters congratulate Dr. Ernest Moniz on his confirmation as the new Secretary of Energy. As Energy Secretary, Dr. Moniz will make important decisions that will shape America’s energy and climate landscape for decades to come, including the agency’s response to 24 proposed liquefied natural gas terminals that could export up to 45 percent of the nation’s total natural gas production. We urge Secretary Moniz to take a timeout on exports to complete a thorough economic and environmental assessment… To do what is right by the American public, we need Secretary Moniz to go all in on smart energy and climate solutions, like solar, wind and energy efficiency and to protect our children’s health and future, while creating jobs for American workers."

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