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Obama Adds to Cabinet with Energy and Environmental Nominees

As had been rumored, President Obama formally announced Ernest Moniz as his nominee for energy secretary and Gina McCarthy as EPA administrator on Monday. The nominees have attracted criticism from both sides of the aisle.
March 5, 2013, 7am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Announced in a ceremony at the White House along with the nominee for White House budget director, "Obama hailed their predecessors and said he was confident that their successors would pursue his administration’s goals of achieving energy independence, creating more clean-energy jobs, fighting climate change and reigniting economic growth," reports Juliet Eilperin and William Branigin.

Moniz, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has already attracted the ire of environmentalists for his “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that includes support for shale gas produced by hydraulic fracturing. However, as Steven Mufson notes, "[l]ike outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Moniz is alarmed about climate change and devoted to funding scientific research into low-carbon alternatives to fossil fuel."  

“We would stress to Mr. Moniz that an ‘all of the above’ energy policy only means ‘more of the same,’ and we urge him to leave dangerous nuclear energy and toxic fracking behind while focusing on safe, clean energy sources like wind and solar,” Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said in a statement Monday.

Criticism of McCarthy, who heads the EPA’s air and radiation office, came from the other side of the aisle. “Gina McCarthy’s nomination to head the EPA sends a clear message that the president’s plan is to encumber the economy with rising energy costs, rather than encouraging growth in the energy sector to help bring costs down,” Emily Wismer, a policy analyst for the the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, said in a statement.

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Published on Monday, March 4, 2013 in The Washington Post
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