Australian news, and some related international items

USA’s new Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, a nuclear power enthusiast



Nuclear company lauds choice for Energy Department, USA Today, Deirdre Shesgreen, Gannett Washington Bureau Ernest Moniz’s nomination to replace Stephen Chu as head of the Department of Energy was welcomed by USEC, the firm that is seeking federal help in building a major nuclear facility in Ohio. WASHINGTON — USEC officials on Monday applauded President Obama’s nomination of Ernest Moniz to be the new Energy Secretary — and it’s no wonder.

Moniz has been familiar with the company for years and served as a strategic adviser to USEC, which is developing the American Centrifuge Project in Piketon, Ohio.

Moniz, an MIT physics professor, was a member of USEC’s Strategic Advisory Council from 2002 to 2004, a paid position he held shortly after leaving an earlier stint with the Department of Energy (DOE) in the Clinton White House….

Energy secretary nominee supports fracking, nuclear energy, By Steven Mufson, The Washington Post   03/05/2013 ”  …..In a voluminous written and spoken record, Moniz has come out in favor of nuclear power, research into carbon capture and storage for coal, renewable energy and shale gas produced by hydraulic fracturing……… At MIT, he has directed the school’s Energy Initiative,

over the past couple of weeks, many environmentalists and some prominent renewable energy experts have tried to block the nomination of Moniz because of an MIT report supporting “fracking” – as hydraulic fracturing is commonly known – and because major oil and gas companies, including BP, Shell, ENI and Saudi Aramco, provided as much as $25 million each to the MIT Energy Initiative. Other research money came from a foundation bankrolled by shale gas giant Chesapeake Energy.

“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…..

Moniz favors nuclear power despite the catastrophe that Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami inflicted on that country, in part by destroying its Fukushima nuclear power plant.

“It would be a mistake . . . to let Fukushima cause governments to abandon nuclear power and its benefits,” he wrote in a Foreign Affairs article in late 2011. ….. He has said that he favors federal assistance to build several new nuclear power plants this decade….. Other renewable-energy advocates fault Moniz for stressing research instead of infrastructure and financing. In a posting on the website GreentechMedia, Jigar Shah, former chief executive at a solar installation firm and now a consultant, wrote: “With the likely nomination of Ernest Moniz as the Secretary of Energy, President Obama has chosen invention over deployment – and R&D over job creation and carbon reduction.”..


March 6, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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