The Senate on Monday confirmed Jeffery M. Baran to an extended term on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Ellen D. Williams to head the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy at the Energy Department.
Baran's term was to end next June. A Democrat, Baran was confirmed to a term through June 2018 by a 52-40 vote.
Williams was confirmed on a voice vote. Her nomination had been pending since late last year.
Baran will complete the term of NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane, who is stepping down at the end of the year to join George Washington University.
Companies like Echogen are betting that advances in technology will improve the feasibility of energy harvesting – generating power from things like vibrations, heat or radio waves – although the chief of ARPA-E, the Energy Department’s agency promoting research, says retooling the grid to add local energy storage may be a more significant step for the nation’s power picture, CNBC reports.
President Barack Obama late Wednesday tapped oil giant BP's chief scientist to head up the Energy Department's high-tech research program.
The White House said Obama would nominate Ellen D. Williams to direct the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. She would take over from the program's Deputy Director Cheryl Martin, who has been running the program since the beginning of this year.
The House accepted amendments to the water and energy development appropriations bill to boost ARPA-E funding and environmental cleanup funds but rejected others that would have boosted or cut the bill's spending on renewable energy, The Hill reports.
President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a $3.8 trillion federal spending blueprint that again seeks to cut billions of dollars in tax incentives for oil and gas companies while boosting clean energy research.
The 2014 budget plan includes Obama's renewed call for Congress to close incentives worth $44 billion over 10 years, a goal that has failed to advance in past years because of opposition from Republicans and oil-state Democrats. In comments at the White House, Obama said the budget "will continue our march towards energy independence and address the threat of climate change."
ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit 2013 Day Three. Concludes today. Morning remarks by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Energy Deputy Secretary Dan Poneman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Ron Wyden, New York Mayor Bloomberg, American Electric Power President Nick Akins, Center for American Progress Chair John Podesta.
Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., announced Friday that the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act has acquired two more co-sponsors, bringing the total of backers for the measure to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act to a filibuster-proof 60, National Journal reports.
Fourteen senators from both sides of the aisle, many from ethanol-producing states, went to the White House Thursday to tell chief of staff Denis McDonough that the Environmental Protection Agency should make a bold move when it finalizes three years’ worth of blending mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard next month, The Hill reports.
Control of Miller Energy Resources Inc. will be handed over to an affiliate of Apollo Global Management LLC and J.P. Morgan Chase unit Highbridge, under an agreement in place as the Texas-based Alaska driller filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A sharp drop in the overall U.S. rig count—to levels not seen since 2002—sent oil prices rebounding Friday. West Texas Intermediate Crude for November delivery jumped 80 cents, or 1.8 percent, to settle at $45.54 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London, Brent gained 44 cents to $48.13, Marketwatch reports.
SolarCity says it plans to start producing a panel with an output of 22 percent—which it touts as a 40-percent improvement in efficiency—at its Silicon Valley factory this month, The New York Times reports.
“Storage is the solution” to integrating solar energy into the grid, SunPower Corp. CEO Tom Werner told E&E in an interview, adding that he thought the utility industry and the grid would be transformed within a decade.
The International Energy Agency expects the growth of the renewable energy sector to level off, meaning it will fall short of what’s needed “to meet ambitious climate change mitigation goals,” the agency's renewable chief told The Washington Post.