The best thing Obama has done as PresidentMarch 4, 2013
The Obama Administration has nominated MIT physicist Ernest Moniz to take over as Secretary of Energy. Moniz puts legitimacy behind Obama’s claimed “all of the above” energy strategy, which I frankly never believed when it came out of the President’s mouth (because he has failed to aggressively push the federal government to lead in developing our fossil fuel resources).
This does not mean that Moniz is not going push through carbon friendly policies. On the contrary, in his published writings he has been very concerned with increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and has been engaged in strategies to deal with climate aspects in an economically feasible manner. Moniz has authored or co-authored a number of studies such as The Future of Nuclear Power, The Future of Natural Gas, The Future of Coal and A Future for Fossil Fuels. Moniz recognized the importance of fossil fuels to economic growth and its absolute necessity in modern agriculture, and he is serious about balancing economic and environmental concerns. What excites me the most is that he has openly embraced two policy options that I have long been championing: The Open Fuel standard for motor vehicles, and a pursuit of both CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) and CCU (carbon capture and utilization) technologies. Regarding the latter, he has specifically noted the potential of methanol (although he has not endorsed pursuit of the methanol economy . . . baby steps).
Moniz’ nomination should be passed unanimously, in my opinion. He is exactly the kind of pragmatic problem solver that the DoE – and the nation – needs.