Reuters have been told that President Barack Obama is thinking about appointing MIT nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz as the new Energy Secretary once Stephen Chu steps down.
Moniz has experience in government, having acted as undersecretary at the Energy Department during Clinton’s time as president, and has often addressed congress at Capitol Hill on energy issues in the past.
As director of MIT’s Energy Initiative, a research group funded by oil majors such as BP, Chevron, and Saudi Aramco to try and create technologies that can help reduce the greenhouse gas levels and their impact on the climate, Moniz is not a newcomer to the battle against climate change, or dealings with big oil. In fact he has often talked to lawmakers about the use of natural gas as a means to replace coal and bridge the gap to a lower carbon economy that uses renewable energy sources.
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Chu was often criticised for his refusal to accept the US shale boom and dogmatic focus on renewable energies. Moniz is unlikely to make the same mistakes.
President Obama has already nominated Sally Jewell, the chief executive of REI, to become the new Interior Secretary, and is expected to name the new leader for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promptly; sources have told Reuters that Gina McCarthy, in charge of air quality at the EPA, is the most likely candidate.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com