The leading candidate to replace departing energy secretary Steven Chu is Ernest Moniz, director of the Energy Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. He would bring to the office a pragmatic support for nuclear power and natural gas, along with a candid desire to, in his own words, “innovate like hell” on basic energy technologies. Colleagues at MIT are waiting for a confirmation of the appointment, which could come as early as this week. “Ernie is a real people person, and he took us to a whole new level in terms of both size and visibility,” says Howard Herzog, a participant in the Energy Initiative who works on carbon capture and sequestration technologies at MIT.
From that news article, it certainly appears that Moniz might be able to better navigate the politics of Washington, since he has had plenty of experience dealing with that kind of cra... err ... environment before.
If this comes true, I would be happy enough. I was dreading the idea of a non-scientist, a non-engineer, or worst still, a career bureaucrat, running what is essentially a science/engineering/technical branch of the govt. We have had those before with other administrations. I'd rather not have that again.