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.
Giving states more time to comply with provisions of the rule limiting power plant carbon emissions may help the Environmental Protection Agency deflect some of the legal challenges it’ll face after finalizing the regulation, E&E reports.
Human activity does contribute to climate change, but the Obama administration’s “irresponsible and ineffective” Clean Power Plan won’t help stop it, Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush told Bloomberg BNA in an interview.
Three prominent scientists active in the climate field—including Harvard professor Naomi Oreskes—have written an essay saying that industry—major oil companies in particular—is responsible for the lions’ share of greenhouse gas emissions that have contributed to climate change, E&E reports.
California Democrats Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer have proposed a bill to provide $1.3 billion over ten years to projects that would help their state cope better with drought, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Support for oil prices, provided by a report of a drawdown in inventories, evaporated Thursday in the face of a rally in the dollar. U.S. benchmark crude lost 27 cents to settle at $48.52 on the Nymex, while in London, Brent slipped 7 cents to $53.31, Reuters reports.
Cashing in on the flood of cheap crude oil, refiner Valero Energy reported $1.4 billion in earnings in the second quarter, more than double what it made a year ago, and chief Joe Gorder was talking about expansion and diversification, FuelFix reports.
Although performing better than analysts expected, ConocoPhillips still reported a loss of $179 million in the second quarter, and announced it will cut capital spending by another $500 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Lower oil and gas prices that cut drilling activity were responsible for Pioneer Energy Services’ growing red ink in the second quarter, the contract driller said as it reported a net loss of $77.3 million, FuelFix reports.
Royal Dutch Shell might look to get involved in gas projects in Iran once sanctions are lifted in the wake of the nuclear agreement Tehran reached with global powers, according to Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry, Platts reports.