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Ex-Molten Metal Head Defends Firm

February 12, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The former chairman of a company accused of landing millions of dollars in federal contracts in exchange for contributions to the Democratic Party said the firm’s technologies _ not its donations _ led to Department of Energy funding.

William M. Haney III, former chairman and chief executive officer of Molten Metal Technology in Waltham, Mass., told a House Commerce subcommittee today that the company’s process for treating hazardous and radioactive waste was worthy of federal funding.

Haney told the panel that the $33 million in federal contract extensions that the company received were supplemented by tens of millions of private dollars. In addition, he said, companies such as Lockheed Martin and Westinghouse also invested in Molten Metal’s technology.

``Thoughtful application of Molten Metal’s technology has the potential to save taxpayers billions of dollars in tackling our biggest environmental challenges,″ Haney told the panel today.

The House Commerce Committee has been investigating whether Molten Metal landed its federal contracts in exchange for the $62 million it contributed to the Democratic Party and the $50 million its executives raised for President Clinton’s re-election campaign.

Molten Metal hired as its lobbyist Peter S. Knight, a former aide to Vice President Al Gore who ran Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign. And Gore visited the company’s Fall River, Mass., plant in 1995, declaring Molten Metal a success story.

At a Commerce subcommittee hearing in November, Knight denied that any political pressure was used.

A month later, Molten Metal filed for bankruptcy.

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