New Hampshire, USA — Ernie Moniz has been unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next Secretary of Energy, in a 97-0 vote (with three nonvoters). He succeeds Stephen Chu who held the position for four years.
Moniz’s nomination to head up the Department of Energy had received a green light by the Senate Energy Committee more than a month ago, but had been held up by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) in protest of a proposed shutdown of a nuclear material processing facility.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) praised Moniz as “uniquely qualified to tackle the many policy challenges facing our nation and the world,” particularly “in today’s combative political environment.” The Edison Electric Institute likewise called him “a visionary leader with excellent credentials for his new job,” adding with a broader take their desire that Moniz “use all of our resources to produce electricity affordably, reliably and in an environmentally responsible manner for consumers.” The Sierra Club, while congratulating Moniz on his confirmation, also again urged him to reconsider his stance on fracking and also liquefied natural gas terminals in the U.S.
As we’ve previously covered, Moniz’s background specific to renewable energy includes his directorship of MIT’s Energy Initiative, and board seats at the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems and on a number of solar companies. He also has a policy background with previous stints at the DoE (1997-2001) and the Office of Science and Technology. He has been a supporter of natural gas and nuclear energy policies.
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