The new Secretary of Energy and MIT physicist, Ernest Moniz, has often cited nuclear power as an important means of developing a low-carbon future for America. Moniz has also advocated the use of natural gas for its economic, environmental and energy security benefits, as outlined in a report he authored while at MIT, “The Future of Natural Gas.” So what can we expect from the next Secretary of Energy?
Throughout his confirmation process, which has taken place over the past six weeks, Secretary Moniz reiterated the need for an “all-of-the-above” strategy, while expressing his belief that the government is underinvesting in advanced energy and research. “More than a hundred Nobel Prizes have resulted from DOE-associated research. DOE operates an unparalleled national laboratory system and partners with both universities and industry at the research frontier…DOE should continue to support a robust R&D portfolio of low-carbon options: efficiency, renewables, nuclear, carbon capture and sequestration, energy storage,” Moniz told the Senate Energy Committee. Summarizing his view of the Energy Department’s priorities, Moniz explained that, “Our principal job is to push the technology innovation to get the cost of the low-carbon technologies as low as possible.”
What are the most important policy-related issues Mr. Moniz will face as the Energy Secretary? What role should the Energy Secretary and the DOE take in shaping America’s energy future?