US Senate confirms Moniz as nation's new energy secretary

By Ron Kotrba | May 16, 2013

In a vote of 96 to zero, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ernest Moniz as the nation’s new energy secretary. Moniz was nominated by President Obama in March as a replacement for Steven Chu, who announced his resignation Feb. 1.

Moniz is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, Director of the Energy Initiative, and Director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Physics, serving on the faculty for 40 years.

He served as undersecretary of the U.S. DOE from 1997 until January 2001 and, from 1995-‘97, as associate director for science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Bill Clinton. At MIT, Moniz served as head of the physics department and as director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center. His major research contributions have been in theoretical nuclear physics, energy technology and policy studies. He has also been serving on Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology.

“Throughout his career, Ernest Moniz has supported efforts to move beyond fossil fuels to a cleaner, more secure energy future in which renewable sources play a prominent role,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. “He knows that advanced biofuels like biodiesel are critical to our long-term energy and environmental security, and he has supported practical policies aimed at developing renewables in order to reduce our dependence on petroleum, create jobs and reduce harmful emissions. He is also an internationally recognized expert on renewable technology who truly understands the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. As a result, we believe he will be an excellent leader at the energy department and look forward to working with him.”

In addition to being welcomed by NBB to his new role as energy secretary, Moniz received praise from the Advanced Biofuels Association.

“The Advanced Biofuels Association strongly supports the confirmation of Ernest Moniz to be the next secretary of energy,” said Michael McAdams, president of the ABFA. “We are pleased that President Obama tapped such a strong advocate for policy that supports solid energy growth and is a friend of the advanced biofuels community.”

The nation’s ethanol organizations also applauded the confirmation of Moniz to lead the DOE.

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