Obama’s Energy Pick Discloses Extent of Industry Ties
Ernest Moniz, President Barack Obama’s nominee for energy secretary, performed consulting work last year for General Electric Co. (GE), BP Plc (BP/), and Riverstone Equity Partners LP, according to his financial disclosure forms.
Moniz, 68, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, serves on the boards of directors of American Science & Engineering Inc. (ASEI), which makes detection equipment used at ports, and ICF International Inc. (ICFI), a consulting firm in Fairfax, Virginia, that reported in February that federal contracts made up 58 percent of its fourth quarter revenue.
Moniz disclosed a net worth of between $5.4 million and $18.1 million. He is scheduled to testify April 9 at a confirmation hearing at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
In a letter filed with the Office of Government Ethics, Moniz said that if he is confirmed by the Senate, he would resign his board seats, sell his common stock in ICF and forfeit unvested restricted stock in ICF and American Science & Engineering. He wrote that he would refrain for one year from participating in matters directly affecting ICF, GE, BP, Riverstone and several other companies and groups he has worked for.
Moniz, who also is director of the MIT Energy Initiative, received a salary of $304,168 from the university in 2012.
According to his disclosure form, Moniz has between $500,000 and $1 million in stock of American Science & Engineering and a combined total of between $200,000 and $500,000 in vested options and restricted stock.
He reported having between $100,000 and $250,000 in ICF common stock and the same amount in restricted stock.
Moniz received $10,000 last year from GE for service on an advisory board. He made $5,850 from BP and $75,000 from Riverstone, which describes itself as a private equity firm focused on energy and power. Moniz has done consulting for Riverstone since 2008, for BP from 2005 to 2012 and for GE since 2008.
Since 2009, he has also been on an advisory council and the board of trustees for the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Saudi Arabia.
The Public Accountability Initiative, a research group in Buffalo, New York, that is critical of the use of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, has been criticizing Moniz for his ties with industry.
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