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When President Obama nominated Ernest Moniz to be energy secretary earlier this month, he hailed the nuclear physicist as a “brilliant scientist” who, among his many talents, had effectively brought together “prominent thinkers and energy companies” in the continuing effort to figure out a safe and economically sound energy future for the country.
Indeed, Moniz’s collaborative work—best captured in the industry-backed research program he oversaw at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology—is well known. So, too, is his support for Obama’s “all of the above” energy strategy—one that embraces, fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewable energy sources.
But beyond his job in academia, Moniz has also spent the last decade serving on a range of boards and advisory councils for energy industry heavyweights, including some that do business with the Department of Energy. That includes a six-year paid stint on BP’s Technology Advisory Council as well as similar positions at a uranium enrichment company and a pair of energy investment firms.
Such industry ties aren’t uncommon for cabinet nominees, and Obama specifically praised Moniz for understanding both environmental and economic issues.