Yesterday afternoon, Ernest Moniz was unanimously confirmed as the nation’s new Energy Secretary, earning praise from green groups and industry. [Greentech Media]
Ernest Moniz, a former MIT physicist, is the new secretary of energy. The Senate voted to confirm Moniz this afternoon by a vote of 97 to 0.
Moniz now takes over for Steven Chu, who left the Department of Energy in April after a tumultuous tenure in office. Faced with the sequester and a possible continuing resolution that would limit the department’s budget, Moniz will also need to make hard decisions about what programs to fund.
As a moderate progressive on energy issues, Moniz had strong bipartisan support — unlike many of President Obama’s other nominees. However, some environmental groups publicly worried about Moniz because of his support for an “all-of-the-above” strategy to energy production, particularly his promotion of natural gas while at MIT…. Moniz has also been a strong supporter of renewable energy and the need to address climate change.
The Interior Department issued new draft rules on fracking, weaker than a previous version supported by many, and stronger than the “no federal regulations” position advocated for by industry. [Washington Post]
In an extended road trip around the country, a researcher has found that methane emission levels are much higher than previously thought. [Yale Environment 360]
Unfortunately, a climate denier talking point that increasing clouds will cool the earth is even less true than once originally thought. [Climate News Network]
Gina McCarthy’s nomination to head the EPA was voted out of the Senate EPW Committee on party lines, and faces a meeting with Senator Blunt over a levee issue in his state, more requests by Senator Vitter, and finally a vote on the Senate floor. [The Hill]
EPA is the most effective agency in the Office of Management and Budget’s cost-benefit analysis. [Sustainable Business]
The hacker group Anonymous launches Operation Petrol, against the fossil fuel industry. [The Hill]
President Obama travels to Baltimore today on a jobs and opportunity tour, and will visit a company whose president testified on behalf of the Keystone XL pipeline. [Buzzfeed]
Solar power windows could be in the marketplace very soon. [CleanTechnica]
2012’s spring was the earliest on record. [Capital Weather Gang]
Epic drought in Texas has impacted the state’s turkey hunt, and if conditions remain the same, hunters could see less than half of the usual numbers. [Daily Climate]
The UK rejected a proposal to define tar sands oil as “highly polluting,” signaling that it supports EU imports of the carbon-intensive fuel. [Guardian]