More bad news for environmentalist Democrats came from the Obama Administration yesterday, as President Barack Obama announced that he had nominated Ernest Moniz to become the next Secretary of Energy.
Moniz is currently the head of the MIT Energy Initiative, which promotes the continued use of fossil fuels, and takes money from the following fossil fuels companies:
– Saudi Aramco (an oil company owned by the government of Saudi Arabia)
– Shell Oil
– Total petroleum company
– Duke Energy
– Hess Corporation
– Constellation Energy
– Osaka Gas Company
– Petra Energia
Moniz does not possess the political independence from the fossil fuels industry that we need from our Secretary of Energy. Courtney Abrams, the federal clean energy advocate for Environment America, notes that Moniz “has a history of supporting dirty and dangerous energy sources”. Michael Brune, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, commented that ““We would stress to Mr. Moniz that an ‘all of the above’ energy policy only means ‘more of the same’.” The “All Of The Above” energy policy promoted by Republicans and the Obama Administration has meant extreme increases in drilling for crude oil and natural gas, with small amounts of funding for renewable energy sources as window dressing.
The MIT Energy Initiative operated by Moniz isn’t only financially indebted to fossil fuels companies that profit from pollution and contribute to climate change. The Institute also takes money from Hogan Lovells, a lobbying firm working for oil companies including Anadarko Petroleum, Anschutz Corporation, Denbury Resources, DTE Energy, Occidental Petroleum, SandRidge Energy, and the Tellus Operating Group.
Another lobbying firm that pays money to the MIT Energy Initiative is Steptoe & Johnson. Steptoe & Johnson represents the fossil fuels industry as well, with the American Gas Association, Chemtex International, and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America on its list of clients.
If Ernest Moniz becomes the head of the U.S. Department of Energy, his financial connections to oil and gas corporations make it highly unlikely that he’ll support any policies that end the political and economic dominance of the fossil fuels industry. Barack Obama’s choice of Moniz as Secretary of Energy suggests that his idealistic comments about fighting climate change, in the State of the Union Address and his inaugural speech this year, were just more empty promises.