Confirmed: Ernest Moniz is the new U.S. Secretary of Energy


Newly confirmed Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has expressed support for expanded development of America’s oil and gas resources.

On Thursday, President Obama's nominee to replace outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu was confirmed by the Senate in a 97-0 vote after what Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski has referred to as "one of the smoother confirmation hearings that we have had in quite some time."

The man who will now head the Department of Energy is Ernest Moniz, a physicist who has consistently expressed support for the administration's "all-of-the-above" approach to meeting the nation's energy needs.

In a previous post, we looked at Moniz's background and stated beliefs about energy development in greater depth. Most recently, Moniz has served as head of the MIT Energy Initiative, which has produced a number of reports highlighting the economic and environmental benefits of expanded natural gas production.

During the confirmation process, some environmental activists pointed to Moniz's involvement with that program as a reason to oppose his nomination, as it has significant ties to companies in the oil and gas industry. However, Politico's Andrew Restuccia has suggested that it was his diverse resume that swayed lawmakers to offer such broad support for Moniz's confirmation.

Prior to Thursday's confirmation vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – who is known for his vocal opposition to the Obama Administration – said Republicans are "optimistic about Dr. Moniz's pragmatic approach to solving the country's energy challenges."

Senate Energy Committee Chairman Ron Wyden expressed a similar view, calling Moniz a "solution oriented" person who is "smart about energy policy" and "savvy about how the Department of Energy operates."

With a pro-development voice at the head of the Energy Department, the remainder of President Obama's second term could bring new opportunities for companies in the industry. In order to capitalize on this, producers may want to implement new technologies to maximize their output.

Hydraulic jet pumps can be particularly valuable, as this equipment can be used to quickly complete drill stem testing and initiate production at new sites or improve recovery rates from established wells.