Senate confirms Zoi to U.S. renewable energy post

The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Obama’s nomination of Cathy Zoi to be the Energy Department’s assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Obama announced the nomination of Zoi in March. The White House said she has a long career in promoting renewable energy and fighting climate change.

In January 2007, she became chief executive officer at the Alliance for Climate Protection, which was established by former Vice President Al Gore. The organization’s goal is to persuade Americans about the urgency and solutions of global warming.

Renewable energy groups praised the June 19, 2009, confirmation, with the National Hydropower Association pledging to work with her to build America’s energy future.

“As America forges a new energy policy, conventional hydropower and new marine and instream hydrokinetic technologies will help advance the nation’s economic, energy, and environmental goals,” NHA Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci said.

The Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition said Zoi has demonstrated strength and courage to move the energy efficiency and renewables industries forward.

“The parallels between building awareness of climate change issues and building support for marine and hydrokinetic energy are many … new concepts, emerging science, numerous stakeholders, power politics as well as skepticism and doubt,” OREC President Sean O’Neill said.

Before Zoi joined the Gore group, she served as group executive director at the Bayard Group, which was recently renamed Landis+Gyr Holdings. The firm is a world leader in energy measurement technologies and has operations in 30 countries.

She was also a manager at the Environmental Protection Agency where she pioneered the Energy Star Program.

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