Energy. Environment. Economy.

Obama’s Energy Secretary Nominee Touts Natural Gas ‘Revolution’

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Landov

President Obama's choice to head the Energy Department, Ernest Moniz. He pledged to increase use of natural gas Tuesday at his Senate confirmation hearing.

At his Senate confirmation hearing today, President Obama’s pick to head the Department of Energy voiced his commitment to increase the use of natural gas, according to the AP:

Ernest Moniz, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said “a stunning increase” in production of domestic natural gas in recent years was nothing less than a “revolution” that has led to reduced emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that cause global warming.

Moniz is a former Energy Department undersecretary for President Bill Clinton and has supported using natural gas as a bridge fuel between coal and other energy sources that produce less pollution.

Bloomberg reports Moniz has also faced criticism for his oil and gas industry connections:

He performed consulting work last year for General Electric Co. (GE)BP Plc (BP/), and Riverstone Equity Partners LP, according to his financial disclosure forms.

Moniz disclosed a net worth of between $5.4 million and $18.1 million. In a letter filed with the Office of Government Ethics, Moniz said that if he is confirmed by the Senate, he would resign his board seats, and would refrain for one year from participating in matters pertaining to companies with which he financial relationships.


  • Ron Wagner

    Dr. Moniz is a good choice. We need to export our natural gas, but we should tax the exports. Our big oil companies have done nothing to support its use in America. Shell (Dutch) has, ENN Chinese is beginning to. Smaller companies like Chesapeake and Clean Energy have. Using Natural gas in our vehicles can save us trillions of dollars. It can be used in trucks, cars, ships, locomotives, generators, turbines, steel mills, et all.

  • Mark Wiener

    So when will a reasonable amount of the hundreds of billions of dollars made and to be made on unconventional drilling be used to restore watersheds ruined by coal and sewage? When will all the polluting coal burners be replaced by gas? When will solar and wind get the same kind of support? When will low income insulation be assisted? When will motorists realize driving a plug in vehicle charged by solar carports costs less than $2.50/gallon retail motor fuel and produces no pollution and produces genuine, energy independence?????

  • Liz Rosenbaum

    Moniz is selling the US public a bill of goods on Natural Gas. He’s a creature of the industry – plain and simple. Fossil Fuels are over – and extreme fossil fuel extraction, like fracking for shale gas, will net far more Carbon than they reduce. It may be a cleaner burning fuel to burn, but drilling for it, processing it and transporting it creates a dramatic increase in fugitive methane emissions. The time for renewables is now.

  • doubleducks

    Get over your blind hatred of any fossil fuel; you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. Without natural gas, the world will be burning coal, diesel, and gasoline for many decades to come. That would be much more pollution than a switch to natural gas until solar and electric vehicle technology can reach efficiencies to allow it to be scaled up as required. For 18-wheelers, there is NO current technology of electric motors capable of powering them.

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