Energy secretary nominee Ernest Moniz (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

The Senate unanimously confirmed Ernest Moniz, a scientist and professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to be secretary of energy Thursday.

Environmental groups had opposed his nomination early on, saying they were concerned about his support for natural gas and nuclear power.

Seems Moniz was able to assuage those concerns. The Senate vote was 97 to 0.

In other action Thursday, Senate committees also sent to the floor the nominations of assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez to be secretary of labor and Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The committee votes, however, indicated that both nominees may have some difficulties obtaining full Senate confirmation. Both Perez and McCarthy were approved on straight party-line votes.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved Perez by a 12 to 10 vote, and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to approve McCarthy on a 10 to 8 party-line vote.