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Senate committee approves Obama's Department of Energy nomination

Ernest Moniz

The U.S. Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee has approved President Barack Obama's selection to head the Department of Energy by a 21-1 vote, HydroWorld.com has learned.

Ernest Moniz -- nominated by the president in March -- would replace Steven Chu, who announced his resignation as Secretary of Energy in February.

Moniz is currently a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has previously served as an undersecretary in the Department of Energy during President Bill Clinton's administration.

"Dr. Moniz could become the first Secretary of Energy who, instead of having to confront energy shortages and scarcity, instead would oversee an era of abundant carbon-reducing natural gas and dramatic growth of renewable energy technologies," committee chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said. "From my experience working with Dr. Moniz, I believe he is more than up to the challenges that our country is going to face in this historic transition from our energy sector."

Moniz's nomination now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

HydroWorld.com reported earlier this month that the Senate had confirmed Obama's nomination for Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, with an 87-11 vote.

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