Greenpeace Urges Joe Biden to Reject Ernest Moniz and Choose Climate Champions for Cabinet


November 16, 2020

“The American people have given Joe Biden a mandate to take bold action in service of climate justice, public health, economic prosperity, and racial equity. Moniz would only be holding him back."

Ernest Moniz

Photo by: OLF/Kilian Munch © Creative Commons

Kilian Munch

President-elect Joe Biden is rumored to be considering former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz for a top position in his administration. Moniz was the architect of President Obama’s flawed “all of the above” energy approach, a philosophy that Biden repeatedly pledged to move beyond in his campaign for the presidency.

In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Lisa Ramsden said:

“Ernest Moniz is the wrong climate voice for the moment. His numerous and long-standing ties to oil and gas companies raise a red flag for climate voters who mobilized to elect leaders who will put working people before corporate executives. He’s an outspoken supporter of carbon capture and storage (CCS), a false solution favored by fossil fuel executives because it allows them to continue reckless expansion at the expense of our communities’ air, water, and health. The climate emergency demands solutions that are fast, affordable, and equitable — CCS is none of these.

“The American people have given Joe Biden a mandate to take bold action in service of climate justice, public health, economic prosperity, and racial equity. Moniz would only be holding him back. Instead, Biden must seek out climate champions who understand the crisis we’re in and have the experience to deliver solutions that help all people thrive.”

Moniz’s ‘Green Real Deal’ envisions continued investment in natural gas and wide deployment of CCS, partly as a means of maintaining some parts of the oil and gas industry. These false solutions are harmful in their own right, but as a pitch to fossil fuel workers and communities, they’re snake oil. This approach can only detract from the necessary work of putting in place a just transition.

Greenpeace urges Biden and his transition team to publicly commit to barring fossil fuel lobbyists, executives, or representatives to roles in the administration. Instead, they should select individuals who:

  • Understand the urgency of the climate emergency and are committed to advocating for and implementing bold action to limit warming below 1.5°C;
  • Have experience advocating for and/or implementing climate, environmental justice, and clean energy solutions;
  • Are committed to advancing environmental justice, Indigenous rights, and worker protections, and working closely with affected communities and workers to do so;
  • Have experience and commitment to manage and use the tools of government to serve the public interest;
  • Reflect the diversity of identities and lived experiences of all people in this country, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, and other attributes.

UPDATE November 16, 2020, 5:04pm ET: Greenpeace and more than 75 climate and environmental justice groups sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden urging him to ensure there is no role for Ernest Moniz in his administration.


Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]


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