Government Leaders Attend Clean Energy Summit In Vegas

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz addressed the most prominent energy-related security issues facing the country during remarks made today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC.

Here are the 4 main challenges Moniz highlighted:

1)      US vulnerability to oil price volatility – “We are not disconnecting from oil price volatility,” said Moniz. We are not independent from global oil prices and need to deal with that fact. Increasing domestic production is one measure that’s happening now and the policy objective has to be reducing oil dependence even as we produce more.

2)      Climate change  and associated natural disasters and humanitarian crisis’s that can result from climate change – “My first day on the job I was quoted as saying I’m not going to debate what’s not debatable,” said Moniz. He sees progress on climate change acceptance, saying now congress is not debating if it’s real, but what to do about it. He pointed to Obama’s Climate Action Plan announced earlier this year as one step being made to address the issue. He also cited energy efficiency measures like LED light bulb proliferation and increased use of renewable energy as climate change mitigation measures.

3)      Nuclear energy and the link between power generation and weaponized applications – He said the DOE is pursuing nuclear technology like Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), which he called “an interesting possibility.” Moniz said DOE will soon make awards for a second round of SMR solicitation.

4)      Vulnerability of infrastructure – Weather-related events like Hurricane Sandy are one concern, along with the threat of cyber and physical attacks on isolated and unprotected infrastructure. The interdependence of infrastructure like power and fuel delivery – also highlighted during Sandy – is another concern DOE is working to address, said Moniz.