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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.

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