Senate Committee Endorses Obama's Energy Nominee

  • Marie Cusick

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Landov

Ernest Moniz has pledged to increase use of natural gas.


The Associated Press reports the Senate Energy Committee has overwhelmingly endorsed the nomination of Ernest Moniz to head the U.S. Department of Energy.
The committee approved Moniz in a 21-1 vote this morning:

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina was the only lawmaker to oppose Moniz. Scott says he opposes the president’s plan to cut funding for a project to turn weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear reactor fuel. President Barack Obama’s budget would cut about $200 million from a plant being built at South Carolina’s Savannah River nuclear site.

Moniz is a physicist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former Energy Department undersecretary for President Bill Clinton.
He has voiced strong support for using natural gas as a bridge fuel between coal and other energy sources that produce less pollution. Critics say he has not been fully transparent about his connections to the oil and gas industry.
Moniz’s confirmation now moves to the full Senate where he is widely expected to be confirmed.