Energy secretary nominee draws criticism for study
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- In 2005, Cosby said he got drugs to give women for sex
- NSA resumes collection of phone data
- New Horizons flyby of Pluto on track despite computer glitch
- Chicago father won’t cooperate with police in shooting death of boy, 7
- Texas wants its gold back in the state’s borders
- Markets ‘shrug off’ Greece debt saga
- Maryland mother charged with leaving baby on roadside
- Counterterror efforts making U.S. any safer?
- Police: No evidence of gunshot at Walter Reed hospital
- Killing by illegal immigrant blamed on S.F. ‘sanctuary’ policies
- Obama vows to stick with current strategy against Islamic State