In a near-unanimous vote Thursday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Ernest Moniz’s nomination to become the next Secretary of the Department of Energy.
The full Senate could vote on Moniz’s nomination as soon as next week, The Hill reported.
With 21 votes for his nomination and only 1 against – from South Carolina Republican Tim Scott — Moniz clearly carries deep bipartisan support into his final confirmation vote.
Moniz, currently the director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative, can also count on support from Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon). Wyden told President Barack Obama he would “do everything [he could]” to usher through Moniz’s approval at a Senate Democrats dinner Wednesday night, Bloomberg energy reporter Ari Natter reported on Twitter.
Wyden added in a news release that he believes Moniz is “more than up to the challenges” posed by transitioning the United States to a low-carbon energy supply.
The Energy Department is a major funder for research and development into more efficient production and distribution technology. Moniz said in his hearing he would focus on developing a wide range of energy sources, with a particular eye on environmental and water-use efficiency.
is a Washington, D.C–based correspondent for Circle of Blue. He graduated from DePauw University as a Media Fellow with a B.A. in Conflict Studies. He co-writes The Stream, a daily summary of global water news.