Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) helped secure key committee approval of Dr. Ernest Moniz, nominee for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee approved Dr. Moniz's nomination by a 21 to 1 vote. Dr. Moniz's nomination now goes to the full Senate for confirmation.
"Dr. Moniz is a well-qualified nominee for Energy Secretary and deserves the consideration of the full United States Senate," Cantwell said. "I appreciate his commitments to ensuring that Hanford cleanup is based on good science and existing timelines, and to personally visiting the Hanford site. I also appreciate Dr. Moniz's focus on other issues important to the Northwest: from maintaining cost-based power at the Bonneville Power Administration, to supporting the innovative research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, to accelerating clean energy solutions.
"Dr. Moniz's background gives me great confidence that he will be ready on day one to hit the ground running and tackle the many challenges awaiting him at the Department of Energy. Today's vote is a strong step on the path towards his confirmation as our next Energy Secretary."
On April 9, during an ENR hearing on Dr. Moniz's nomination, Cantwell secured multiple commitments from Moniz, including that he would:
*adhere to the Tri-Party Agreement;
*focus on Hanford cleanup challenges;
*visit the Hanford Site in order to view the complex issues firsthand;
*push for an evaluation of whether military nuclear waste should be addressed separately from commercial waste in any disposal plan;
*ensure adequate funding for Hanford cleanup;
*support the Hanford land transfer and creation of a Manhattan Project National Historical Park that includes Hanford's B Reactor;
*work with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on DOE priorities; and
*maintain cost-based power at the Bonneville Power Administration.