Secretary Moniz Hosts Energy Security Symposium, Honors Dr. Daniel Yergin with First James R. Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security

WASHINGTON— To commemorate the 37th anniversary of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) opening in 1977 and to kick off National Energy Action Month, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today hosted the first Schlesinger Medal Ceremony and Symposium on Energy Security. The Secretary began the event by presenting the new James R. Schlesinger Medal to world-renowned energy expert and Pulitzer-Prize winning author Dr. Daniel Yergin. Then two distinguished panels convened to discuss and debate critical energy security issues from the past and looking toward the future.

"Daniel Yergin has made unique contributions to the energy security debate.  His writings, from The Prize to The Quest, have provided the historical perspective for understanding today’s energy security challenges,” said Secretary Moniz. “His emphasis on energy market structures as a critical energy security consideration is an important part of America’s energy and security policy conversation."

The medal was inspired by the late James R. Schlesinger, the first Secretary of Energy, whose career and works embody a focus on the interplay of economic, security and energy issues – in academia, in public service, and industry.  The new medal will be presented annually to honor an individual’s contributions to advancing the understanding of threats, opportunities, and energy policy choices impacting the domestic and international energy security interests of the United States through analysis, policy, or practice.

“I am extremely honored to be presented with this distinguished medal by Secretary Moniz and the U.S. Department of Energy,” Dr. Yergin said. “The strengthening of the United States’ energy position through advancements such as the U.S.-led revolution in unconventional oil and gas production as well as the continued innovation and progress of renewables has been one of the major developments of this young century. The ever-growing importance of energy to our daily lives makes the work of the Department of Energy under Secretary Moniz’s distinguished leadership all the more vital and I am extremely grateful for this honor.”

Following the medal ceremony, two panels of energy experts participated in wide-ranging conversations about the nature of energy security through time. The first panel covered energy policy from the founding of the Department to the present, and was chaired by John Deutch with panelists Lynn Coleman, Charles Curtis and Stuart Eizenstat. The second panel looked at energy security today and in the future, and was chaired by John Hamre with panelists Jim Hackett, John Podesta, Linda Stuntz, Frank Verrastro and Daniel Yergin.

From its founding in 1977, the mission of the Energy Department has been to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. The Department’s efforts complement the Administration’s goals of growing the economy, protecting the environment, and enhancing the security of the American people.