President Barack Obama has officially announced his nominations for outgoing Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson.
The president has nominated nuclear physicist Ernie Moniz to serve as DOE secretary. Moniz was undersecretary of the DOE under former President Bill Clinton and, since then, has directed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Energy Initiative, which aims to develop the technologies necessary for the U.S. to achieve energy independence.
"Most importantly, Ernie knows that we can produce more energy and grow our economy while still taking care of our air, our water and our climate," Obama said when nominating Moniz.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said he looks forward to working with Moniz on energy issues.
“I look forward to discussing with Ernest Moniz the many issues before the Energy Department that are so vital to the nation’s energy security,” Wyden said in a statement. “That includes re-engaging Dr. Moniz over the problems with cleaning up nuclear waste at the Hanford Site, finding creative ways to promote new technologies and harness the ingenuity of America’s energy innovators, and examining the diverse opportunities to attack climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Obama has also nominated Gina McCarthy, who currently serves as assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, as the next EPA administrator. Before assuming her current role, McCarthy was a top environmental official in Massachusetts and Connecticut, where she helped design programs to encourage renewable energy development and promote energy efficiency.
“As assistant EPA administrator, Gina has focused on practical, cost-effective ways to keep our air clean and our economy growing,” Obama said during the nomination ceremony. “She’s earned a reputation as a straight shooter. She welcomes different points of view. I’m confident that she’s going to do an outstanding job leading the EPA.”
Both officials will play a role in encouraging domestic energy development and combating the threats posed by climate change, Obama noted.