The US is getting a new energy minister. On 4 March President Barack Obama introduced the physicist Ernest Moniz as the new member of his cabinet. Moniz, who has been working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is viewed as a supporter of nuclear power and natural gas, takes over from Steven Chu, who was energy minister during Obama’s first term of office. Obama also used the occasion to introduce Regina McCarthy, the new director of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).McCarthy takes over the baton from Lisa Jackson, who has headed the agency for the last four years. Until now McCarthy has been handling issues relating to greenhouse gas emissions at the EPA. Both appointments must now be approved by the US senate.