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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • Energy Nominee Ernest Moniz Criticized for Backing Fracking & Nuclear Power; Ties to BP, GE, Saudis

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    President Obama’s pick to become the nation’s next secretary of energy is drawing criticism for his deep ties to the fossil fuel, fracking and nuclear industries. MIT nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz has served on advisory boards for oil giant BP and General Electric, and was a trustee of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, a Saudi Aramco-backed nonprofit organization. In 2011, Moniz was the chief author of an influential study for MIT on the future of natural gas. According to a new report by the Public Accountability Initiative, Moniz failed to disclose that he had taken a lucrative position at a pro-drilling firm called ICF International just days before a key natural gas "fracking" study was released. Reaction to his nomination has split the environmental community. Advocacy groups such as Public Citizen and Food & Water Watch are campaigning against Moniz’s nomination, but the Natural Resources Defense Council has praised his work on advancing clean energy based on efficiency and renewable power. We speak to Kevin Connor of the Public Accountability Initiative and ProPublica reporter Justin Elliott, who have both authored investigations into Moniz’s ties to industry. [includes rush transcript]

  • "Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale": Cheryl Wills Uncovers Family’s History from Slavery to Freedom

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    In this year marking the 150th anniversary year of the Emancipation Proclamation, we speak to NY1 anchor Cheryl Wills, who uncovered the story of her great-great-great-grandparents, Sandy and Emma Wills. Sandy was a slave who escaped from his master and joined the United States Colored Troops to fight in the Civil War. Wills based her book, "Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale," on thousands of documents from the National Archives. The book’s title comes from a quote by Frederick Douglass: "Who would be free themselves must strike the blow. Better even die free than to live slaves." We speak to Wills one day after the United Nations marked its sixth annual International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. [includes rush transcript]