United States

United States

Obama nominates energy and environment replacements

UNITED STATES: President Barack Obama has nominated physicist Ernie Moniz to fill the energy secretary role vacated by Steven Chu last month.

Obama nominations... Moniz and McCarthy
Obama nominations... Moniz and McCarthy

Moniz was previously under secretary for energy under Bill Clinton's administration in the 1990s. Most recently he headed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Energy Initiative focusing on developing independent sources of energy.

Speaking about the appointment, Obama said: "Now, the good news is that Ernie already knows his way around the Department of Energy. He is a physicist by training, but he also served as under secretary of energy under President Clinton. Since then, he’s directed MIT’s Energy Initiative, which brings together prominent thinkers and energy companies to develop the technologies that can lead us to more energy independence and also to new jobs.

"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 also nominated Gina McCarthy to head up the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). McCarthy was assistant EPA administrator under previous EPA director Lisa Jackson.

McCarthy's appointment is thought to be the most controversial of the two, with many Republicans opposed to recent EPA legislation.

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