By a unanimous vote Thursday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ernest Moniz as the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Moniz, who replaces Steven Chu, previously served as Under Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton. He has also directed the Energy Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Moniz in March. In a statement Thursday, the president said he is pleased by the confirmation.
"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," Obama said." 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."
Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), also issued a statement on the confirmation.
"In today's combative political environment, [Moniz's] selection in the Senate stands as a testament to his abilities, as well as to the respect he brings to his new position," Resch said." 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."