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.
Among the slots the White House has to fill for President Barack Obama's newly-minted second term is director of an Energy Department research agency that enjoys support on Capitol Hill despite Republican opposition to his green agenda.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy has been without a confirmed director since Arun Majumdar left the administration last May. Acting director Eric Toone left the administration at the end of December to return to Duke University, from which he was on leave during his time with the administration starting in 2009.
President Barack Obama's popular nominee to become the Energy Department's permanent under secretary on Wednesday abruptly announced his departure from the administration.
In an email to department employees, Energy Secretary Chu announced plans by Acting Under Secretary Arun Majumdar to leave next month. He is expected to return to California and has announced no specific plans.
TransCanada Corp. said the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline would be ready to ship oil by mid-January, backing off the anticipated start date of Jan. 3 it submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Bloomberg reports.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., urged the Energy Department's inspector general to swiftly resume its investigation into the Bonneville Power Administration, saying he has "credible evidence" of whistle-blower retaliation at the power agency, The Hill reports.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison Macfarlane said radiation-exposed water released from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant would reach the U.S. West coast at relatively safe levels, Bloomberg reports.
Royal Dutch Shell and Vitol Group are among companies who have met with Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh for early discussions on reopening the country's energy industry to wider markets, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A group of environmental organizations urged the Environmental Protection Agency to develop regulations to curb methane emissions and called on the Interior Department to strengthen existing rules to limit the greenhouse gas, National Journal reports.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission hired a new resident inspector at the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Plymouth, Mass., but the agency said the plant's recent performance rating downgrade played no role in the decision, The Patriot Ledger reports.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, suggested that climate change would offer some economic benefit for his state by opening up Arctic trade routes between China and Europe that could include Maine's coastal cities as a stop, the Kennebec Journal reports.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission signed a five-year lease extension for its headquarters in Rockville, Md., after the House Transportation Committee passed a resolution allowing the agency to retain the lease in exchange for relinquishing space in another building, Washington Business Journal reports.