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FW: White House Clean Energy News -- Clean Energy Legislation, ARPA-E announcements, Small Business, DOD, Rural Intrastructure and More


Hi everyone,


It has been a busy couple of weeks on clean energy for the Obama Administration, so we wanted to package a few items together and send along some of the recent actions the Administration has taken to lay the foundation for America’s clean energy future.  This includes Op-Eds, announcements, blog posts, and further action and implementation.


In this email:

1.      Taking initiative on clean energy legislation – Director Carol Browner

2.      Awards for groundbreaking energy research projects –Secretary Steven Chu

3.      Clean energy and small businesses in Maine Administrator Karen Mills

4.      USDA and Navy join hands for clean energy future – Secretary Tom Vilsack

5.      White House blog posts on Clean Energy (Green Jobs, Weatherization, and Solar)

6.      Clean Energy and Climate Legislation -  Secretary Shaun Donovan

7.      Electricity Infrastructure Across Rural America - Secretary Vilsack



Clean Energy Update





Taking Initiative on clean energy – Carol Browner, Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy

Ms. Browner notes the Administration’s efforts to lay a new foundation for America’s clean energy future through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the President’s leadership.  She outlines the need for passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year and details the Administration’s efforts, “We are working with senators to achieve the strongest possible legislation during this Congress to provide the necessary incentives and certainty in the marketplace for a chance to a clean energy economy.” 

For more details, please refer to the attached document from Ms. Browner.




Department of Energy Awards $92 Million for Groundbreaking Energy Research Projects – Secretary Steven Chu, Department of Energy

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced 43 cutting edge research projects that aim to dramatically improve how the U.S. uses and produces energy. Funded with $92 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), today’s selections focus on accelerating innovation in green technology while increasing America's competitiveness in grid scale energy storage, power electronics and building efficiency.  He notes that “These innovative ideas will play a critical role in our energy security and economic growth. It is now more important than ever to invest in a new, clean energy economy.”

            For more details, please refer to the attached document from Secretary Steven Chu.




Maine Voices: Small businesses using clean energy – Administrator Karen Mills, Small Business Administration

In her opinion piece, Ms. Karen Mills notes that jobs in Maine’s clean energy grew more than 20 percent from 1998 to 2007 -- nearly seven times the overall growth rate of jobs in the state. The Recovery Act has also created hundreds of jobs to weatherize about 4,000 low-income homes.  Wind energy companies have joined with the University of Maine to help design, test and develop floating wind turbine platforms over the next 10 years.  SBA’s recovery loans in particular have helped entrepreneurs who are working to install solar panels, wind turbines, and more in support of clean energy.

For more details, please refer to the attached document from Ms. Mills.




Unlikely partnership for our clean energy future – Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Agriculture

Secretary Vilsack of the Department of Agriculture reviews the benefits of the newly formed partnership between the USDA and the Department of the Navy.  The relationship will channel research and development efforts of renewable energy solutions – especially advanced biofuels – to meet the Navy’s needs.  Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has mandated that by 2020, the Navy and Marine Corps meet 50 percent of all their energy needs using alternative fuels, including biofuels.  The overall goal is for the Navy to be less dependent on foreign fossil fuel supplies while supporting American agricultural producers.

For more details, please refer to the attached document from Secretary Vilsack.




Going Green in Denver- Secretary Hilda Solis, Department of Labor

On a recent visit to Denver, CO, Secretary Hilda Solis visited the Denver Green Jobs Initiative, a program that provides free green jobs training to the unemployed, women, and minorities.  In her blog she notes that “Denver and Colorado as a whole are really taking an interest in green industries. Several employers have already reached out to the Denver Green Jobs Initiative as a pipeline for several planned transportation, retrofitting, and green construction projects…I’m proud that the Department of Labor is [supporting this effort] though our investment in the Denver Green Jobs Initiative. This program received over $3.6 million from the Department of Labor as part of the Pathways out of Poverty Initiative.” 

For more details, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/08/going-green-denver


From Sand to Solar – Secretary Steven Chu, Department of Energy

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu were just in Nevada and announced a venture to help promising solar technologies go to market.  “The Dept of Energy and the Dept of Interior recently signed an agreement to dedicate more than 25 square miles to solar energy research – an area larger than Manhattan.  There will be a particular focus on the future of Concentrating Solar Power, or CSP.”

For more details, please visit:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/08/sand-solar


Smith Electric Just One Example of Innovation in Kansas City - Matt Rogers, Senior Advisor at the Department of Energy

Earlier this week, President Obama met with workers at Smith Electric’s new factory in Kansas City, Missouri.  Matt Rogers notes that “with a $32 million grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act coupled with $36 million in private capital, the electric vehicle company is building up to 500 all-electric trucks.  Along with creating new jobs and breathing life back into this facility, this project is helping demonstrate that electric-drive cars and trucks are real.”  While visiting Smith Electric, the President said “[T]he reason I’m here today is because, at this plant, you’re doing more than just building new vehicles.  You are helping to fight our way through a vicious recession and you are building the economy of America’s future.”  At the project’s peak, Smith is projecting to support over 220 direct and indirect jobs.

              For more details, please visit:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/08/smith-electric-just-one-example-innovation-kansas-city


Weatherizing 82,000 Homes This Summer – Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary for Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy

Cathy Zoi writes about the importance of ‘weatherization’ – the process of installing insulation, caulking, weatherstripping, windows, better furnaces or water heaters – to help families save energy.  As part of the Recovery Summer, over 82,000 low-income families will have their homes retrofitted and ultimately benefit from lower energy bills. 

For more details, please visit:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/07/weatherizing-82000-homes-summer


Solar and Smart Grid: Powering a Clean Energy Future- Nancy Sutley, Chair of White House Council on Environmental Quality

Nancy Sutley’s visit to the clean tech hub in Silicon Valley included tours of Nanosolar, Cisco Systems, and SunPower.  All of these companies are on the forefront of solar and smart-grid technology, engaged in products ranging from thin film solar cells to smart-grid technology. 

For more details, please visit:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/07/solar-and-smart-grid-powering-a-clean-energy-future




Secretary Shaun Donovan, Department of Housing and Urban Development

“The worst environmental disaster in our nation's history threatens the Gulf Coast and the families who live there. Stopping the oil spill and containing its damage is the top priority of the Obama administration and the country alike. But of all the lessons to be drawn from this tragedy, perhaps the most important is that we can't afford to let the next generation be held hostage to energy sources from the last century.” 

Please refer to the attached document to learn more about Secretary Donovan’s ideas on reducing America’s carbon footprint.  




Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Agriculture

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that more than 54,000 customers in 20 states will benefit from electric infrastructure improvement projects funded with loan guarantees provided through USDA. Vilsack said "The Obama Administration believes that modernized infrastructure is a necessary part of the foundation for long term economic stability and prosperity and that includes a modernized electrical grid.  These loans will improve electric service for thousands of Americans, creating jobs, and expanding business and economic opportunity in America's small towns and communities."  

          Please refer to the attached document to learn more about the benefits of electricity distribution lines across the rural countryside.


Justin DeJong
Press Secretary
USDA Office of Communications
1400 Independence Ave, SW, Room 403A
Washington, DC 20250
202-251-3309 (cell)




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Attachment: Carol_Browner_12July2010.pdf
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Attachment: 07_12 DOE Awards $92 million for ARPA-E.pdf
Description: 07_12 DOE Awards $92 million for ARPA-E.pdf

Attachment: Karen_Mills_12July2010.pdf
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Attachment: Tom_Vilsack_12July2010.pdf
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Attachment: Clean Energy_Donovan_5July2010.pdf
Description: Clean Energy_Donovan_5July2010.pdf

Attachment: Electricity Infrastructure_Vilsack_7July2010.pdf
Description: Electricity Infrastructure_Vilsack_7July2010.pdf

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