Tell President Obama: Don’t appoint fracking proponent Dr. Ernest Moniz to lead the Department of Energy
President Obama keeps saying we need to confront climate change. Yet it’s rumored he’s considering nominating Dr. Ernest Moniz to lead DOE. “As a proponent of fracking, Dr. Ernest Moniz is the wrong choice for to lead the Department of Energy. Appoint an energy secretary who will move us away from toxic, climate-heating fossil fuels and toward sustainable energy.”
So why is he considering appointing a major proponent of fracking to lead the Department of Energy?
According to Reuters, President Obama is seriously considering appointing Dr. Ernest Moniz – the director of MIT’s Big Oil-sponsored Energy Institute and a big believer in expanding toxic, climate-heating gas fracking.1
At a time when the last thing we should be doing is undermining our progress against climate change, Moniz is the wrong choice to head one of the most important agencies in the fight for a sustainable energy future.
Moniz’s Energy Institute at MIT is sponsored by the likes of BP, Chevron and Saudi Aramco. So it is no surprise that the gas industry and pro-fracking groups welcomed the rumor of Moniz’s appointment to head DOE.2
Moniz is a strong backer of the deeply flawed notion that we should expand our fracking infrastructure and development to serve as a “bridge” to low-carbon sources of energy.
But fracking isn’t a bridge to a better future; it’s an expressway to climate change and toxic pollution. Expanding fracking will worsen its toxic air pollution and increase its huge volumes of toxic wastewater, will increase incidents of groundwater contamination, and will unleash an absolutely catastrophic amount of greenhouse gas3 — not just through burning gas, but through the tremendous leakage from fracking wells of methane, a greenhouse gas that has 20 times the heat-trapping power of C02 over 100 years, making fracked gas as bad for the climate than burning coal.
What’s more, heavy reliance on burning gas slows the implementation of the sustainable carbon-free sources of energy that will put a dent in our climate emissions.
Climate change won’t be solved by tradeoffs, compromises, or moderate-sounding catch phrases like “all of the above.” President Obama cannot make a serious attempt at confronting climate change as long as he is pushing policies to “encourage” fracking and appointing administration officials who will undermine the progress he could be making.
This week, we delivered to the White House our open letter co-signed by over 240,000 people, calling on President Obama to lead on climate change and abandon his “all of the above” energy policy. But he still doubled down in his State of the Union address. By publicly protesting one of his rumored top picks for Energy secretary, we know that he’ll hear the message.
1. “EXCLUSIVE-Obama considering MIT physicist Moniz for energy secretary -sources,” Reuters, February 6, 2013
2. “Will Ernest Moniz be the next Energy secretary?,” Christian Science Monitor, February 11, 2013
3. “Bridge To Nowhere? NOAA Confirms High Methane Leakage Rate Up To 9% From Gas Fields, Gutting Climate Benefit,” Think Progress, January 2, 2013