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President Barack Obama has announced his nominations for the new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary and the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator.

Obama has named Ernest Moniz, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Energy Initiative, to replace departing Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Chu announced last month that he planned to resign and return to academia in California. Moniz is a physicist and also served as Under Secretary of Energy under the Clinton administration.

During a press conference today, President Obama called Moniz a “brilliant scientist” and said, “Most importantly, Ernie knows that we can produce more energy and grow our economy while still taking care of our air, our water and our climate. And so I could not be more pleased to have Ernie join us.”

Obama also named Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator of the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, to replace EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. In December, Jackson announced her plans to leave her post, which was filled by Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe.

Obama said during the conference that McCarthy has “earned a reputation as a straight shooter. She welcomes different points of views. I’m confident that she’s going to do an outstanding job leading the EPA.”

The president also highlighted what he expects from the two nominees.

“So these two over here, they're going to be making sure that we're investing in American energy, that we're doing everything that we can to combat the threat of climate change, that we're going to be creating jobs and economic opportunity in the first place,” Obama said. “They are going to be a great team. And these are some of my top priorities going forward.”

Both appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.




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