Energy Secretary: ‘All of the Above’ Is Climate-Friendly

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: Secretary of Energy nominee Ernest Moniz arrives for testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee April 9, 2013 in Washington, DC. Moniz, a nuclear physicist, testified before a full committee hearing on his pending nomination. 
National Journal
Ben Geman
Feb. 26, 2014, 6:59 a.m.

En­ergy Sec­ret­ary Ern­est Mon­iz is par­ry­ing with en­vir­on­ment­al­ists who re­cently called the White House’s “all of the above” en­ergy strategy a loser for the cli­mate.

His com­ments Wed­nes­day are part of ad­min­is­tra­tion ef­forts to de­fend the dual White House fo­cus on ex­pan­ded oil and gas pro­duc­tion along­side the green-en­ergy sources that act­iv­ists em­brace.

But Mon­iz, speak­ing at an En­ergy De­part­ment con­fer­ence just out­side Wash­ing­ton, told the audi­ence he wanted to be “very clear” about what the phrase is about.

“It starts with a com­mit­ment to mov­ing to a low-car­bon fu­ture. It is with­in that com­mit­ment that we are look­ing to de­vel­op the tech­no­lo­gies, for ex­ample, that al­low all of our fuel sources to be com­pet­it­ive in the dif­fer­ent mar­ket­places that we will see in the dif­fer­ent parts of our coun­try and in dif­fer­ent parts of the world,” he said.

“There is not go­ing to be one low-car­bon solu­tion. There are go­ing to be mul­tiple low-car­bon solu­tions. We need all the ar­rows in the quiver, and that is why we will con­tin­ue to in­vest across the board in our dif­fer­ent fuels and, of course, ef­fi­ciency and oth­er tech­no­lo­gies,” Mon­iz ad­ded.

He spoke at a con­fer­ence hos­ted by the de­part­ment’s Ad­vanced Re­search Pro­jects Agency-En­ergy pro­gram, which funds re­search in­to break­through tech­no­lo­gies.

Mon­iz said his re­cent travels high­light what’s meant by “all of the above,” and touted ef­forts to use fossil fuels more cleanly. He noted his vis­it to a Mis­sis­sippi coal-fired power plant un­der con­struc­tion that will cap­ture car­bon emis­sions to be used in en­hanced oil re­cov­ery, ded­ic­at­ing a huge sol­ar-power pro­ject that re­cently came on­line in Cali­for­nia, vis­it­ing shale drilling areas in Texas but also ex­plor­ing ef­fi­ciency ef­forts in San Ant­o­nio, and more.

Mon­iz was also in Geor­gia this month tout­ing the fed­er­al-loan guar­an­tees for a pair of nuc­le­ar re­act­ors that South­ern Com­pany is build­ing.

Else­where in his re­marks, Mon­iz gave a brief pre­view of the pro­posed fisc­al year 2015 En­ergy De­part­ment budget that the White House will un­veil next week.

“Bluntly, the ‘15 budget year is go­ing to be more dif­fi­cult than the ‘14 budget year,” he said, not­ing that the spend­ing caps in the re­cent Cap­it­ol Hill budget deal that Demo­crat­ic Sen. Parry Mur­ray and GOP Rep. Paul Ry­an struck.

But des­pite that caveat, Mon­iz said the green-en­ergy por­tion of the budget will be a pri­or­ity.

“Without … say­ing too much, there is no reas­on to be­lieve that the pri­or­ity for this clean-en­ergy agenda will be any dif­fer­ent, and per­haps it will turn out a little bit bet­ter than some oth­er parts of the budget next week,” he said.

Mon­iz’s wide-ran­ging speech fo­cused on sev­er­al of his pri­or­it­ies for the de­part­ment, in­clud­ing the de­part­ment’s loan-guar­an­tee pro­gram, which has drawn strong GOP cri­ti­cism in re­cent years over the fail­ure of the sol­ar-pan­el com­pany Solyn­dra and some oth­er flops.

He noted that in the main, the $30 bil­lion loan port­fo­lio — which in­cludes a num­ber of green power-gen­er­a­tion pro­jects and loans to auto­makers for green-car de­vel­op­ment — is per­form­ing well.

“Any ra­tion­al view of that port­fo­lio is that it has been a ma­jor suc­cess in do­ing ex­actly what it … is de­signed to do in terms of first-movers of tech­no­lo­gies at com­mer­cial scale,” Mon­iz said.

The de­part­ment has an ad­di­tion­al $40 bil­lion-plus in loan-guar­an­tee au­thor­ity re­main­ing. “We are look­ing to de­ploy that … across the board. Ad­vanced vehicles, nuc­le­ar, fossil, re­new­ables,” Mon­iz said.

Ini­tial ap­plic­a­tions for up to $8 bil­lion worth of loan guar­an­tees for fossil-en­ergy pro­jects that curb or trap car­bon emis­sions are due Fri­day.

Mon­iz told re­port­ers that a so­li­cit­a­tion for ap­plic­a­tions for re­new­able en­ergy pro­jects will be re­leased “re­l­at­ively soon,” but he did not provide a spe­cif­ic time frame. “I am not talk­ing the end of the year,” he said.

What We're Following See More »
ANOTHER MEETING WITH PRIEBUS
Trump to Meet with Ryan, Leadership Next Week
1 minutes ago
THE LATEST

A day after saying he could not yet support Donald Trump's presidential bid, House Speaker Paul Ryan has invited the billionaire to a meeting in Washington next week with House leadership. Ryan and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will also meet separately with Trump. 

Source:
‘EXACTING STANDARDS’
Obama on Trump: ‘This Is a Really Serious Job’
19 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"President Obama used the White House podium on Friday to dismiss Donald Trump as an unserious candidate to succeed him, and said leading the country isn't a job that's suited to reality show antics." At a briefing with reporters, the president said, "I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job. This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States. And what that means is that every candidate, every nominee needs to be subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny."

Source:
MORE EXECUTIVE ORDERS
Panama Papers Spur White House to Crack Down on Evasion
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In the The White House on Thursday night unveiled a series of executive actions to combat money laundering—"among the most comprehensive response yet to the Panama Papers revelations." The president's orders will tighten transparency rules, close loopholes that allow "foreigners to hide financial activity behind anonymous entities in the U.S., and demand stricter “customer due diligence” rules for banks.

Source:
THE QUESTION
Who’s #NeverTrump Courting as Possible Candidates
2 hours ago
THE ANSWER

The #NeverTrump movement is now mulling the idea of recruiting a candidate to run as an independent or under a third-party banner. But who might it be? The Hill offers a preliminary list.

  • Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)
  • Mitt Romney
  • 2012 (and perhaps 2016) Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson
  • Former Marine Gen. John Kelly
  • Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)
  • Former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
Source:
362,000 JOBS ADDED
‘Mildly Disappointing’ Jobs Report
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The U.S. economy added 160,000 jobs in April, a "mildly disappointing" result relative to the 200,000 expected, according to the New York Times' Neil Irwin. On the plus side, hourly earnings were up 2.5% from a year ago. But on the other hand, "the labor force shrank by 362,000 people and the labor force participation rate fell by 0.2 percentage points."

Source:
×