Senate panel backs Moniz for energy chief

AP News
Posted: Apr 18, 2013 11:15 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Energy Committee has overwhelmingly endorsed the nomination of physicist Ernest Moniz to lead the Energy Department.

The energy panel voted 21-1 Thursday to endorse Moniz, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina was the only lawmaker to oppose Moniz. Scott says he opposes the president's plan to cut funding for a project to turn weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear reactor fuel.

President Barack Obama's budget would cut about $200 million from a plant being built at South Carolina's Savannah River nuclear site.

Moniz has said he supports Obama's all-of-the-above approach to energy and that a sharp increase in natural gas production is nothing less than a "revolution."