WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will help position the United States as a world leader in terms of sustainable natural resources, President Obama said.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said both the Energy Department and the nation would benefit from having Moniz lead the Energy Department.
"It is my hope that after his confirmation, Dr. Moniz will guide our nation's energy policy as the respected scientist that he is: rigorously, robustly, free of preordained conclusions, and not afraid to speak up or speak his mind," she said in a statement.
Moniz, a physicist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had his nomination approved in a unanimous vote by the full Senate.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., hailed Moniz for having a "proven record" on new energy solutions.
Obama said he was pleased the Moniz nomination was approved in a unanimous vote, touting his long-record with energy innovation.
"He also shares my conviction that the United States must lead the world in developing more sustainable sources of energy that create new jobs and new industries, and in responding to the threat of global climate change," Obama said in a statement.
Moniz followed U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in securing swift nomination from U.S. lawmakers. Obama's choice of Gina McCarthy to lead the Environmental Protection Agency faces obstacles because of Republican concerns.