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The Boston Globe

Politics

Choice for energy secretary has ties to oil, gas examined

MIT professor Moniz sits on corporate boards; critics see potential for conflicts of interest

WASHINGTON — President Obama expressed great confidence when he nominated Ernest Moniz, an MIT professor, to be secretary of energy, saying the renowned physicist could balance scientific rigor with the demands of private industry and knows that “we can grow our economy while still taking care of our air, our water, and our environment.’’

But some critics question that assertion, contending that Moniz’s independence has been clouded by his deep professional and financial ties to the oil and gas industry — established during his work heading an MIT research effort that is funded primarily by those industries.

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