TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Energy secretary nominee draws criticism for study

REUTERS
Nominee for Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz listens to U.S. President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington, March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)

Daily Photo Galleries

By Bloomberg News
Friday, March 22, 2013, 9:30 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — President Obama's nominee for Energy secretary is drawing criticism for leading a study that minimized risks of natural gas while failing to disclose that some of its researchers had financial ties to the industry.

The nominee, Ernest Moniz, is head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Energy Institute, which issued a report in 2011 that said the environmental risks of increased drilling and production “are challenging but manageable.”

A report co-author had agreed to take a position with Talisman Energy Inc. when the report was released. Another researcher was on the board of Cheniere Energy Inc., which is building an export facility for liquefied natural gas.

“The public should have been informed that MIT's natural gas study was written by representatives of the oil and gas industry,” said Kevin Connor, director of the Public Accountability Initiative, a research group in Buffalo, N.Y., that is critical of the use of hydraulic fracturing for gas and compiled the details of the industry ties. “Aren't there academics there not on the payroll of gas companies?”

It's unlikely this disclosure will harm Moniz's chances of confirmation.

“The president has made clear that natural gas has a central role to play in our nation's energy future,” Clark Stevens, a White House spokesman, said in an email. “Dr. Moniz's work at MIT demonstrates his ability to work collaboratively with a wide spectrum of stakeholders on a broad range of energy issues.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. White House ricochets in nonprofits’ birth control coverage fray
  2. Mudslides plague Washington state after wildfire strips hillsides
  3. Charities reconsider fundraising activities
  4. Hackers hit 25,000 government workers
  5. Retailers warned about software
  6. Ferguson residents fear return of rioting, looting
  7. Kentucky firefighters recovering from ice stunt shocks
  8. NASA expected to hire private rocket
  9. Search for emergency shelters dropped as influx of immigrant children slows
  10. U.S. could have done better, says brother of slain journalist
  11. His murder-arson conviction overturned, man walks free 24 years later
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.