Electric car maker Tesla on Wednesday repaid the remaining balance on its $465 million Energy Department loan, the company and Secretary Ernest Moniz announced.
Moniz said in a statement that the $451.8 million repayment, made nine years early, "is the latest indication that the Energy Department’s portfolio of more than 30 loans is delivering big results for the American economy while costing far less than anticipated."
The Obama administration could approve more natural gas export applications about every two months, an Energy Department official said Tuesday, but only after newly installed Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz completes his own analysis of possible domestic price increases.
Moniz told reporters after a speech in Washington that he was putting about 20 pending applications on hold until he reviews a department study that found new exports would bring net national economic benefits despite some regional price increases.
Ernest Moniz on Tuesday was sworn in to lead the Energy Department, officials said.
Following White House meetings, Moniz planned to make his first public comments as secretary later in the day at the Energy Efficiency Global Forum in Washington.
He told department employees that his agenda centered on "advancing the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, maintaining the nuclear deterrent and reducing the nuclear danger, promoting American leadership in science and clean energy technology innovation, and cleaning up the legacy of the Cold War."
The parallels between incoming Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and his predecessor Steven Chu are obvious -- both are scientists with a wonkish demeanor and academic backgrounds.
Yet in choosing Moniz, who is sworn in Tuesday, President Barack Obama is clearly hoping he will avoid the missteps of Chu. If the unanimous Senate confirmation vote for Moniz is any indication, lawmakers are convinced the days of the green energy activist Energy Department are over.
Attorneys general in four Northeastern states announced they would petition the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a new review of regulations governing nuclear waste storage, The Associated Press reports.
A panel of infrastructure experts in New Jersey criticized Gov. Chris Christie for remarks that suggested there was no evidence of a link between climate change and Hurricane Sandy, E&E Publishing reports.