Energy secretary named designated survivor

Energy Secretary Ernest Moinz will act as the designated survivor at this year's State of the Union address.

Every year, the White House chooses one member in the line of succession to sit out the speech in case a catastrophy wipes out the president and other senior leaders.

That individual is whisked away to an undisclosed location and kept under tight security until the president safely returns to the White House.

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Designated successors are required to be natural-born citizens, at least 35 years old and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years — the constitutional requirements to become president.

It will be the second consecutive year that an Energy Secretary has fulfilled the role. Last year, Stephen Chu sat out the address, shortly before stepping down to return to academia.

Prior to taking his post as secretary, Moniz was the director of the Energy Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The nuclear physicist garnered much attention after his confirmation last year. Moniz was considered a departure from his predecessor for having a background in both government and science.

Moniz served as under secretary at the Energy Department from 1997 to 2001.

So far, Moniz has been the primary bearer of Obama's "all of the above" energy policy, which is likely to get a mention in Tuesday's speech.