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Energy Secretary nominee Ernest Moniz backs natural gas 'revolution'

Published: Tuesday, June 30 2015 1:57 p.m. MDT

Energy Secretary nominee Ernest Moniz of Massachusetts, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on his nomination.    (Manuel Balce Ceneta, Associated Press) Energy Secretary nominee Ernest Moniz of Massachusetts, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on his nomination. (Manuel Balce Ceneta, Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — Ernest Moniz, chosen by President Barack Obama to lead the Energy Department, says he will push to increase use of natural gas as a way to combat climate change even as the nation seeks to boost domestic energy production.

Moniz, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said "a stunning increase" in domestic natural gas and oil production in recent years was nothing less than a "revolution" that has led to reduced emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that cause global warming.

Moniz told the Senate Energy Committee that the natural gas boom also has led to a dramatic expansion of manufacturing and job creation, adding that he would seek to expand its use if confirmed as energy secretary. Moniz endorsed Obama's "all of the above" approach to energy and said he also would push for renewable energy such as wind and solar, along with coal and nuclear power.

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