DOE Contracts Questioned

DOE Contracts Questioned

A toxic-waste cleanup firm that has contributed $82,000 to the Clinton-Gore campaign and the Democratic Party since 1994 and has used a lobbyist with close ties to the Clinton administration has received millions in Department of Energy contracts over the objections of DOE scientists, Time magazine and the Associated Press have reported.

Since 1993, Waltham, Mass.,-based Molten Metal Technology Inc. has received $33 million to test its cleanup technology on nuclear-weapons proving grounds -- "more money than 17 other companies have received collectively to do the same job," reported Time. The funding came despite repeated warnings from federal experts who "repeatedly challenged the effectiveness of Molten Metal's technology," which neutralizes toxic materials in vats of iron heated to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

In March 1994, DOE boosted Molten Metal's original $1.2 million contract by $9 million on the same day the Democratic Party recorded a $15,000 contribution from the firm. One year later, the Clinton-Gore campaign accepted $10,000 in contributions from Molten Metal chief William Haney and nine company officials on the same day the firm won an additional $10 million in funds.

Molten Metal gained its first government contract at the end of the Bush administration through competitive process, according to the AP. Four subsequent contract extensions worth $25 million did not require competition.

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