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Meet The New Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz

The floppy-haired physicist will take over for Stephen Chu in pursuing a renewable energy strategy.

Meet The New Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz

President Obama is continuing with his strategy of appointing actual scientists to head the energy department, by replacing outgoing Secretary Stephen Chu with MIT physicist Ernest Moniz.

Moniz has more government experience than Chu did, having served as associate director of the White House office of science and technology policy and as Bill Clinton’s undersecretary of energy.

The Washington Post notes what he’ll bring to the table in terms of energy policy for the next four years:

[Moniz] is devoted to the "all-of-the-above" strategy for energy that Obama has embraced. In a voluminous written and spoken record, Moniz has come out in favor of nuclear power, research into carbon capture and storage for coal, renewable energy and shale gas produced by hydraulic fracturing.

Chu was also outspoken in his support for "all of the above" while also directing lots of money and research toward cutting-edge projects through the ARPA-E program.

Moniz and new EPA head Gina McCarthy, who was also nominated today, have to be confirmed by the Senate first. They will make up the two most prominent personalities behind any second-term attempt to deal with climate change. Perhaps their confirmation hearings will be a chance to, er, clear the air about the administration’s plans for the environment and energy in the next four years.