US Senate confirms physicist Moniz as energy chief
Washington: The US Senate has unanimously confirmed President Barack Obama`s nominee to lead the Energy Department.
Physicist Ernest Moniz is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Moniz replaces Steven Chu, who served as energy secretary in Obama`s first term.
Moniz was an energy undersecretary in the Clinton administration.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham had delayed a vote on Moniz for several weeks.
Graham was protesting Obama`s plan to cut about USD 200 million from a South Carolina project to turn weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors.
Graham and other Republican lawmakers said the plan jeopardised a plant being built at the Savannah River nuclear site.
Senator Ron Wyden is chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. He calls Moniz smart, savvy and solution-oriented.
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