What They’re Saying About Ernest Moniz

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On May 16, 2013 the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Ernest Moniz, then-director of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), to be the Secretary of Energy. Below is a roundup of comments about the confirmation.

(Learn about MITEI’s new director here.)

President Barack Obama:
“I am pleased that today, by a unanimous vote, the Senate confirmed Ernest Moniz as our next Energy Secretary. Dr. Moniz is a world-class scientist with expertise in a range of energy sources and a leader with a proven record of bringing prominent thinkers and innovators together to advance new energy solutions. He also shares my conviction that the United States must lead the world in developing more sustainable sources of energy that create new jobs and new industries, and in responding to the threat of global climate change. I am thrilled that Ernie is joining my team, and I look forward to his counsel on these issues as my Administration continues to increase our nation’s energy security, strengthen our nuclear security, develop the next-generation of clean energy technologies, and compete for the jobs of the 21st century.”

Senator Ron Wyden, Chair, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee:
“My Senate colleagues recognize that Dr. Moniz is smart, he is savvy about how the Department of Energy operates because he has been there before, and he has a proven track record of collaboration, which is just what you need when you’re leading the Department of Energy,” Wyden said. “I look forward to working with him to address the hugely important issues facing the department: how to manage newly accessible reserves of natural gas, how to combat climate change, how to make our economy more efficient and how to clean up Hanford and other nuclear waste sites.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Ranking Member, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee:
“It is my hope that after his confirmation, Dr. Moniz will guide our nation’s energy policy as the respected scientist that he is: rigorously, robustly, free of preordained conclusions, and not afraid to speak up or speak his mind,” Murkowski said. “His department will benefit – and so will our nation.” 

Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council:
“Ernest Moniz comes with a strong background in energy policy and science and a proven ability to work with the diverse constituencies served by the Department of Energy. As Secretary of Energy, he now has the position, the power and the perfect opportunity to make solid progress on President Obama’s climate change goals by continuing to move our country forward on clean energy and efficiency. Many of us at NRDC have worked closely with Ernie in the past, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with him in his new role.”

Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund:
“Today’s unanimous Senate vote to confirm Ernest Moniz as our next Secretary of Energy is great news for America. It shows that when Congress puts politics aside, a highly-qualified and experienced nominee can win bipartisan support in order to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing our country. Dr. Moniz is a theoretical physicist from MIT and a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology with a well-deserved reputation for being thoughtful and pragmatic. He’s also well-known for his enthusiasm for creating a clean energy future for America, and he has repeatedly observed that just because the environmental challenges of shale gas are manageable does not mean that they are yet managed. I look forward to working with Dr. Moniz on accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy by developing a smart “green” electric grid, promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy through a “Race to the Top” program, and furthering other critical energy projects.” 

Kateri Callahan, President, Alliance to Save Energy:
“Today’s Senate confirmation of Dr. Ernest Moniz as secretary of energy is hugely important to achieving the goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity that is shared by the Alliance to Save Energy and our president. And the broad, bipartisan support that Dr. Moniz drew by a 97-0 vote demonstrates that it is possible to move important energy policy matters through the Senate. Secretary Moniz very effectively championed energy efficiency throughout his distinguished career in government and academia, and we congratulate the President and the Congress for choosing the right man for the all-important job of ending energy waste in this country. We are excited to have Dr. Moniz at the helm of the Department of Energy. We know he will 'double down' on all of the important efforts that the president and Dr. Chu have underway to drive energy efficiency as well as bring new ideas and innovation to drive us toward the Alliance’s Energy 2030 goal of doubling energy efficiency by 2030. We have a lot of work ahead of us to reduce America’s energy waste, and we are excited to have a hard-driving, experienced leader taking on this challenge. We urge members of Congress, members of the environmental and energy communities, and business leaders across the country to support Dr. Moniz in his new role as secretary of energy.” 

Rhone Resch, President & CEO, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):
“Ernest Moniz will be an outstanding Secretary of Energy.  As a Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics professor, an expert in energy issues and a veteran of Washington politics, he is uniquely qualified to tackle the many policy challenges facing our nation and the world.  In today’s combative political environment, his unanimous selection in the Senate stands as a testament to his abilities, as well as to the respect he brings to his new position.  We look forward to working with Secretary Moniz on policies and opportunities which will create new American jobs, expand the U.S. economy and provide energy security for our nation.”

Tom Kuhn, President, Edison Electric Institute:
[Moniz is] “a visionary leader with excellent credentials for his new job.” His strong advocacy in the areas of technology and innovation is also timely for the electric power industry. Moniz “recognizes how critical it is to use all of our resources to produce electricity affordably, reliably and in an environmentally responsible manner for consumers,” Kuhn said. “As an industry committed to bringing technological innovation into every aspect of our business so we can better serve our customers, we look forward to working with the incoming Secretary to continue to develop and strengthen the industry-government partnership we now have in place.” 

Marvin Fertel, President & CEO, The Nuclear Energy Institute:
“Having served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, Dr. Moniz has a clear sense of the course our nation should take to safely, securely and successfully manage commercial used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste from U.S. defense programs over the medium and long terms.” (full statement through link)

Tom King, President, National Grid:
“I commend the US Senate for unanimously confirming Ernest Moniz as Energy Secretary. The overwhelming support, on a 97-0 vote, speaks volumes to Moniz’s background and expertise in energy, innovation, and science. Moniz has excelled at creating solutions that address the energy and environmental challenges of today and that also recognize the concerns of tomorrow. I look forward to working with Secretary Moniz to promote and implement these solutions.”