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Timeline of Events: 2009

  • February 5, 2009: Obama visits DoE Headquarters

    President Obama visits DOE's headquarters at the Forrestal building and in remarks to DOE employees discusses energy and the need for swift passage of the economic recovery plan.

  • January 16, 2009: Expansion of Spallation Neutron Source

    The Department gives its initial approval to begin plans for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to build a second target station for the Spallation Neutron Source, expanding what is already the world's most powerful pulsed neutron scattering facility.

  • March 23, 2009: Chu at Brookhaven

    Secretary Chu, during a visit to DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory, announces $1.2 billion in new science funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for major construction, laboratory infrastructure, and research efforts sponsored across the nation by the DOE Office of Science.

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January 2, 2009
The Department announces plans to take advantage of the recent large decline in crude oil prices and issues a solicitation to purchase approximately 12 million barrels of crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to replenish SPR supplies sold following hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. From May 2008 through the end of December 2008, DOE was prohibited by law from acquiring petroleum for the SPR.

January 5, 2009
The Department, as part of an effort to highlight a decade of quality research and innovation at the National Laboratories, releases a commemorative book entitled A Decade of Discovery.

January 7, 2009
In a closed-door meeting at the Capitol, a delegation of Illinois lawmakers urges Secretary of Energy-designate Steven Chu to reinstate the experimental FutureGen clean-coal power plant in Mattoon, Illinois.

January 8, 2009
President-elect Barack Obama, in his first major speech on the economic stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, states that it will "spark the creation of a clean energy economy."

January 8, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work with the Republic of Poland to prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials. The MOU will allow the NNSA to help equip Poland's strategic points of entry-border crossings, airports, and seaports-with new radiation detection systems and train Polish Border Guards and Customs in the use and maintenance of equipment. The cooperation will strengthen the capability of Poland to deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials across European Union borders.

January 9, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that the final refurbished B61 strategic nuclear bomb has entered into the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, completing an eight-year effort. This program extended beyond their original intended life both the B61 mod 7 and mod 11 strategic bombs and was completed almost one year early.

January 12, 2009
President Bush issues National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 66 on policy in the Arctic region. "Energy development in the Arctic region will play an important role in meeting growing global energy demand as the area is thought to contain a substantial portion of the world's undiscovered energy resources," the White House directive notes. "The United States seeks to ensure that energy development throughout the Arctic occurs in an environmentally sound manner, taking into account the interests of indigenous and local communities, as well as open and transparent market principles. The United States seeks to balance access to, and development of, energy and other natural resources with the protection of the Arctic environment by ensuring that continental shelf resources are managed in a responsible manner and by continuing to work closely with other Arctic nations."

January 13, 2009
Secretary-designate Chu appears at his confirmation hearing (pdf) before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The Secretary-designate states that President-elect Obama has put forward and aggressive and comprehensive long-term energy plan that includes "a greater commitment to wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources; aggressive efforts to increase energy efficiency of our appliances and buildings; more efficient cars and trucks and a push to develop plug-in hybrids; greater investment in technology to capture and store carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants; a continued commitment to nuclear power and a long-term plan for waste disposal; responsible development of domestic oil and natural gas; increased commitment to research and development of new energy technologies; a smarter, more robust transmission and distribution system; and a cap and trade system to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions." Noting that the Department's mission is "extremely broad and has many additional priorities," Secretary-designate Chu pledges that his efforts "will be unified by a common goal: improving management and program implementation."

January 13, 2009
The Department approves (pdf) the start of full construction of the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) at the Savannah River Site (SRS) following independent review and validation of a revised cost estimate for the project. SWPF will treat highly radioactive salt solutions currently stored in underground tanks at SRS and prepare these solutions for ultimate disposition. SWPF will process 33 million gallons of radioactive liquid and salt cake at SRS.

January 13, 2009
The Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory signs a research agreement with Chevron to develop the next generation of catalysts for production of clean, more efficient fuels from crude oil.

January 14, 2009
Secretary Bodman, in a speech at the National Press Club, discusses major DOE achievements over the past four years, energy-related challenges, and major opportunities he sees for the future. "The road to our new energy reality is long and littered with obstacles," the Secretary notes. "But I believe it is within our sight. The solutions are coming into focus and, in some cases, are already moving from the lab to the commercial markets at rapid speed. And so, to be quite frank, I will leave this job with an optimism that I would have found hard to imagine even a few short years ago."

January 14, 2009
The Department and the Bureau of Land Management, as lead agencies, issue a record of decision (pdf) defining corridors in eleven western states to be used for future pipelines and power lines.

January 14, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has recovered over 20,000 excess and unwanted sealed radioactive sources in the U.S. These sources are made from plutonium, cesium, americium, cobalt, strontium and other radioactive materials.
"This major achievement in the removal of these radioactive sources ends any threat that they could be used in a dirty bomb," says NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino.

January 15, 2009
The Department's Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC) releases three reports prepared for the Secretary: Keeping the Lights on in the New World, Bottling Electricity: Storage as a Strategic Tool for Managing Variability and Capacity Concerns in the Modern Grid, and Smart Grid: Enabler of the New Energy Economy.

January 15, 2009
The Department announces the award of a new contract to Princeton University for the management and operation of DOE's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in New Jersey. The contract is a cost-plus, award-fee contract for five years, with an award term provision under which Princeton can earn up to five additional years of contract term. The base performance period of the contract will be from April 1, 2009, through March 31, 2014. A 60-day transition period will begin in January 2009. Based on current funding, the five-year base term of the contract is valued at approximately $390 million.

January 15, 2009
The Department issues a Draft Request for Proposal for the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP) Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) Project. Approximately 315 facilities are included in the Portsmouth D&D Project. Of the 315 facilities, 133 buildings (nearly 10,600,000 square feet of floor space) will be removed, including the three GDP process buildings. The period of performance covers a five-year base period with a five-year option period. The anticipated work scope for the contract has an annual budget in the range of approximately $120 to 170 million over 10 years.

January 16, 2009
Secretary Bodman announces that he has authorized several buildings at Los Alamos National Laboratory to be collectively known as the "Pete V. Domenici National Security Science Complex." The honor acknowledges Senator Domenici's long and distinguished career as a U.S. Senator from New Mexico and is a testament to his vision and leadership as a public servant.

January 16, 2009
The Department announces the award contracts to purchase10,683,000 barrels of crude oil at a cost of $553 million for DOE's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Deliveries of the oil will be made from February to April 2009. The awards made to Shell Trading and Vitol.

January 16, 2009
The Department's Office of Environmental Management (EM) issues a report (pdf) to Congress on the status of the EM program. "The EM program has solved environmental cleanup problems that at one time seemed unsolvable," the report concludes. "EM will continue to make significant progress in solving the complex challenges still facing the program. EM is committed to pursuing solutions that enable it to meet its environmental stewardship responsibilities, while judiciously using the resources entrusted by the American people."

January 16, 2009
The Department gives its initial approval to begin plans for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to build a second target station for the Spallation Neutron Source, expanding what is already the world's most powerful pulsed neutron scattering facility. The new station, which will cost approximately $1 billion, will be optimized for nanoscale and biological sciences with an emphasis on novel materials for energy production, storage and use.

January 16, 2009
The Department awards an $18.8 million cooperative agreement to Arizona State University to operate the Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC), a collaboration of 13 universities with 35 electricity industry member organizations including utilities, transmission companies, vendors and research organizations. The Center conducts cutting edge research related to all aspects of the electric power industry.

January 16, 2009
The Department issues (pdf) a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking a single small business contractor for a cost-plus-award-fee type contract for the Paducah Remediation Project. The estimated contract value is $80- $120 million per year, with a five-year performance period.

January 20, 2009
Barack Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States. In his inaugural address, President Obama states that "each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet." The President pledges to "harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories."

January 20, 2009
Secretary-designate Chu and five other cabinet nominees are unanimously confirmed by the Senate.

January 21, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it will expand the ongoing partnership with Canada to help combat nuclear terrorism. Under an agreement signed with NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) program, Canada will provide nearly $4 million for nuclear nonproliferation work in Ukraine. This is the second contribution from the Government of Canada to SLD's work with Ukraine. Since 2005, Canada has provided nearly $20 million in contributions to three NNSA programs-SLD, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative and the Elimination of Weapons Grade Plutonium Production program.

January 21, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration releases its Electric Power Annual 2007 (pdf), noting that electricity generation and electricity sales reached record levels in 2007. Following a year of relatively weak growth in 2006, net generation of electric power increased by 2.3 percent, rising to 4,157 million megawatthours and retail sales rose by 2.6 percent to 3,765 million megawatthours in 2007. In addition, for the first time non-hydroelectric renewable energy, led by wind power, was the leading source of new electric generating capacity.

January 22, 2009
Secretary Chu at an all-hands headquarters meeting tells DOE employees and contractors that the Department's highest priority in the short term was recovery of the U.S. economy. The Secretary says that he expects the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan under consideration by Congress to include "considerable funds" for DOE programs. Secretary Chu also discusses the threat posed by global climate change. The Department, the Secretary notes, would play a key role in solving the problems of climate change and rising energy demand. "We are going to, quite literally, help save the world," he tells DOE workers. "We can help find the technology that can help us develop a sound energy policy going forward, that we will be the inventors and discoverers of the new science that will provide us revolutionary new solutions."

January 23, 2009
The Department issues a revised record of decision (pdf) in the Federal Register on taking in and storing, pending disposal, up to 1.1 tons of spent nuclear fuel from foreign research reactors "if the material poses a threat to national security, is susceptible for use in an improvised nuclear device, presents a high risk of terrorist threat, and has no other reasonable pathway to assure security from theft or diversion."

January 26, 2009
President Obama, in remarks on Jobs, Energy Independence, and Climate Change in the East Room of the White House, says that at a time of "great challenge for America, no single issue is as fundamental to our future as energy." Dependence on oil, he notes, "is one of the most serious threats that our nation has faced. It bankrolls dictators, pays for nuclear proliferation, and funds both sides of our struggle against terrorism. It puts the American people at the mercy of shifting gas prices, stifles innovation and sets back our ability to compete." The President declares that "it will be the policy of my administration to reverse our dependence on foreign oil, while building a new energy economy that will create millions of jobs." He announces "first steps on our journey toward energy independence": 1) the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan currently before Congress places a down payment on the energy economy by doubling the capacity to generate alternative energy over the next three years, laying down 3,000 miles of transmission lines, making 75 percent of federal buildings more efficient, and weatherizing 2 million homes; 2) to ensure that the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow are built in the U.S., the Department of Transportation will implement new standards for model year 2011; 3) the federal government will work with the states in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the Environmental Protection Agency will "immediately review the denial of the California waiver request" to implement more stringent emissions standards for new motor vehicles; 4) the Administration "will make it clear to the world that America is ready to lead. . . . [and] call together a truly global coalition. . . . [that] will ensure that nations like China and India are doing their part."

January 28, 2009
The Department's Los Alamos National Laboratory announces that it is notifying approximately 1,890 current and former employees and authorized visitors of potential exposure to beryllium based on recently discovered beryllium contamination at one of the Lab's technical areas.

January 30, 2009
The Departments of Energy and Agriculture announce up to $25 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products. "These projects will be among many Obama Administration investments that will help strengthen our economy and address the climate crisis," says Secretary Chu. "A robust biofuels industry-focused on the next generation of biofuels-is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing our addiction to foreign oil and putting Americans back to work."

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February 3, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces a contract with IBM to bring world-leading supercomputing systems to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to help continue to ensure the safety and reliability of the nation's aging nuclear deterrent. IBM will deliver two systems: Sequoia, a 20 petaflop (quadrillion floating operations per second) system based on future BlueGene technology, to be delivered starting in 2011 and deployed in 2012; and an initial delivery system called Dawn, a 500 teraflop (trillion floating operations per second) BlueGene/P system, scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2009. Dawn will lay the applications foundation for multi-petaflops computing on Sequoia.

February 3, 2009
The Department announces that it has received a payment of $57.2 million from the Dakota Gasification Company. The current payment of $57.2 million brings the total to $380 million of revenue sharing payments DOE has received from the sale of synthetic natural gas produced from the Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah, North Dakota. Dakota Gasification Company purchased the plant from DOE in 1988 and agreed to share revenues with the Department through 2009. The plant is the only commercial-scale coal-to-natural gas gasification plant in the U.S, and home to the largest carbon capture project in the world. More than three million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) are captured annually and piped to Canada for use in enhanced oil recovery.

February 5, 2009
President Obama visits DOE's headquarters at the Forrestal building and in remarks to DOE employees discusses energy and the need for swift passage of the economic recovery plan. "For the last few years, I've talked about [energy] issues with Americans from one end of this country to another," the President tells his audience. "And Washington may not be ready to get serious about energy independence, but I am. And so are you. And so are theAmerican people. Inaction is not an option that is acceptable to me and it's certainly not acceptable to the American people-not on energy, not on the economy, not at this critical moment." President Obama thanks DOE staffers for having "done so much on behalf of the country each and every day" and tells them their "mission is so important, and it's only going to grow as we transform the ways we produce energy and use energy for the sake of our environment, for the sake of our security, and for the sake of our economy." The President also announces that he has signed a presidential memorandum requesting that the Department set new efficiency standards for common household appliances.

February 6, 2009
The Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Washington State Department of Ecology announce proposed changes to the Tri-Party Agreement on the clean up of DOE's Hanford Site. The changes align cleanup work with near-term priorities and adjust cleanup schedules to better match currently anticipated near-term funding. These adjustments would delay some projects and accelerate others. The public is given 45 days to comment on the proposed changes.

February 9, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that over 55 percent of the plutonium and uranium materials stored at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have been relocated. The material was moved to the Savannah River site in South Carolina and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, under high security.

February 12, 2009
Secretary Chu meets with Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil. The Department issues a statement that "meeting with an important U.S. trading partner was an opportunity to reaffirm the Obama Administration's commitment to setting our country on a new course -- leading the world toward clean, renewable energy sources that will create new green jobs and address the global climate crisis."

February 12, 2009
David G. Frantz, director of DOE's Loan Guarantee Program Office, tells (pdf) the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that Secretary Chu is "personally reviewing" the Loan Guarantee Program and "has committed to giving this program the attention, departmental resources and oversight it needs to succeed while ensuring that taxpayer interests are protected." An immediate priority for the Secretary, Frantz notes, "is automating, simplifying and streamlining the existing application and evaluation systems."

February 13, 2009
The House and Senate approve the conference report for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (pdf). The $787 billion economic stimulus package allocates $38.7 billion to the Department for the acceleration of a number of important commitments: energy conservation and renewable energy sources ($16.8 billion), environmental management ($6 billion), loan guarantees for renewable energy and electric power transmission projects ($6 billion), grid modernization ($4.5 billion), carbon capture and sequestration ($3.4 billion), basic science research ($1.6 billion), and the establishment of the Advanced Research Projects
Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) ($0.4 billion). A provision that would have provided $50 billion in federal loan guarantees to build new nuclear power plants is eliminated from the final bill.

February 17, 2009
President Obama signs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 at a ceremony in Denver, Colorado. "We are taking big steps down the road to energy independence, laying the groundwork for new green energy economies that can create countless well-paying jobs," the President notes in his remarks. "And in the process, we will transform the way we use energy."

February 17, 2009
The Department and the Northwest Food Processors Association set goals to reduce energy use and carbon emissions in the industrial sector. DOE Industrial Technologies Program Manager Douglas Kaempf and Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA) President David Zepponi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) announcing an industry-wide target of reducing energy intensity (energy use per unit of output) by 25 percent over the next ten years.

February 18, 2009
The White House Office of Management and Budget issues instructions (pdf) to federal agencies "for carrying out programs and activities enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

February 19, 2009
President Obama, in his first foreign trip to Ottawa, Canada, meets with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the two leaders agree that "environmental protection and the development of clean energy are inextricably linked" and announce plans to "work together to build a new energy economy as a key element of broader economic recovery and reinvestment efforts." The leaders discuss practical ways to develop of clean energy technologies, reduce greenhouse gases, and combat climate change. They establish a senior-level U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue that will cooperate on several critical energy science and technology issues, including: 1) expanding clean energy research and development, 2) developing and deploying clean energy technology, and 3) building a more efficient electric grid based on clean and renewable generation. U.S. and Canadian officials will meet in the coming weeks to launch the clean energy dialogue.

February 19, 2009
Secretary Chu announces a reorganization of DOE's dispersal of direct loans, loan guarantees, and funding contained in the new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The goal of the restructuring is to expedite disbursement of money to begin investments in a new energy economy that will put Americans back to work and create millions of new jobs. By cutting paperwork, processing applications on a rolling basis, and drawing on lessons from the private sector and other agencies, the Department will be in a position to: 1) begin offering loan guarantees under the Department's previous loan guarantee program by late April or early May; 2) begin offering loan guarantees under the new Recovery legislation by early summer; and 3) Disperse 70 percent of the investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment plan by the end of 2010.

February 19, 2009
Secretary Chu, speaking at an energy forum, states that building power lines tied to renewable energy is a national priority but the input of states cannot be ignored. "As the country transitions to newer cleaner forms of energy, carbon-free renewable energy, in a big way, we desperately need a national transmission system overlay," the Secretary says. "There's a realization now among our leaders that electricity transmission and distribution is a national issue. Just as Eisenhower said during his first year, in his first year, we need a national highway system for the sake of national security. Just as we realized that we needed gas pipelines, that this was a national issue. Now we realize, as we go to a higher and higher fraction of renewables, that the renewables are dispersed around the country."

February 20, 2009
The Department's Idaho National Laboratory and the state of Idaho-through its three public research universities that are partners in the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES)-dedicate a new 55,000-square-foot, $17 million energy research laboratory on the banks of the Snake River in Idaho Falls.

February 23, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that the first refurbished W76 nuclear warhead has been accepted into the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile by the Navy. This culminates a ten year effort to ensure that the aging warhead, already years beyond its original intended life, can continue to be a reliable part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

February 24, 2009
The Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory signs an agreement with Siemens Energy Inc. to provide high-resolution atmospheric modeling capabilities to improve the efficiency of wind farm sites, turbine design and wind farm operations.

February 24, 2009
President Obama, in his first address to a joint session of Congress, states that the "three areas that are absolutely critical to our economic future" are energy, health care, and education. "It begins with energy," the President notes. "We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet, it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient. We invented solar technology, but we've fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in Korea." Declaring that "it is time for America to lead again," President Obama says that "to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. And to support that innovation, we will invest fifteen billion dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America."

February 26, 2009
President Obama submits his Fiscal Year 2010 budget proposal, A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America's Promise, to Congress. At $26.4 billion, the Department's FY 2010 proposed budget is $1.9 billion more than the current $24.5-billion budget based on the FY 2008 appropriations bill continued by Congress after it failed to pass a FY 2009 budget in September 2008. The FY 2010 budget total does not include American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for DOE activities of $38.7 billion, which will be spread out over several years. The President's Budget Message emphasizes the "creation of a clean energy economy" and the development of "new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs and more savings, putting us on the path toward energy independence for our Nation and a cleaner, safer planet in the process." The DOE section of the proposal notes that the Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste program "will be scaled back to those costs necessary to answer inquiries from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, while the Administration devises a new strategy toward nuclear waste disposal." DOE Press Secretary Stephanie Mueller tells reporters that "Yucca Mountain is not an option, and the new administration is starting the process of finding a better solution for management of our nuclear waste." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) comments that "this represents our most significant victory to date in our battle to protect Nevada from becoming the country's toxic wasteland."

February 26, 2009
Secretary Chu issues a statement on President Obama's budget blueprint: "President Obama's budget is up front and honest about the challenges America faces and makes hard choices to bring the deficit down. At the same time, it invests in our economic future by supporting clean and renewable energy sources that will put Americans back to work while ending our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. By investing in groundbreaking research, making homes and businesses more energy efficient and deploying solar, wind, biomass and other clean energy, this budget will help ensure that America once again leads the world in confronting our global economic, energy and climate challenges."

February 27, 2009
Secretary Chu and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announce a major partnership between DOE and HUD to streamline and better coordinate federal weatherization efforts. A new high level interagency task force will coordinate home weatherization efforts under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and leverage funds to build up the home energy efficiency industry. HUD and DOE will allocate $16 billion in economic recovery funds to retrofit existing homes. HUD's programs include $4.5 billion to renovate and upgrade public and Native American housing (a good portion of which will be invested in energy improvements) as well as $250 million for energy retrofits of privately owned federally assisted housing. DOE will invest $5 billion in weatherization funds, $3.2 billion for a new Energy and Environment Block Grant that cities and states can use to retrofit homes, and $3.1 billion for the State Energy Program and other programs.

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March 3, 2009
Secretary Chu, speaking at the Executive Council meeting of the National Congress of American Indians, says the Obama administration will work closely with tribes to build renewable energy projects and a modern electricity grid on tribal lands. "Indian country must have a seat at the table," the Secretary declares.

March 4, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the release of two Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for up to $84 million to support the development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). Conventional geothermal energy systems must be located near easily-accessible geothermal water resources, limiting its nationwide use. EGS technology would allow power generation in a broad variety of geographic locations. EGS makes use of available geothermal resources to heat engineered reservoirs, which can then be tapped to produce electricity. The FOAs will explore two specific areas: component research and development/analysis and support for EGS demonstration projects.

March 4, 2009
Secretary Chu, speaking at a forum sponsored by the Alliance to Save Energy, acknowledges that DOE "has not had a completely distinguished record in getting out appliance standards." He notes that after looking at the appliance standards the Department was about to issue he became "more convinced that they're not as aggressive as they could be, so we will look at making them more aggressive." The Secretary adds that he wants to start an "energy superstar program for homes that actually exceeds the standards."

March 5, 2009
An editorial by Secretary Chu highlighting President Obama's plans to develop and deploy new energy technologies that will put Americans to work, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and address the global climate crisis appears in USA Today.

March 5, 2009
Secretary Chu testifies before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on budget and energy issues. Noting that while in the U.S. "overall investment in research and development is roughly three percent of gross domestic product on average, it is roughly one-tenth of that average in the energy sector," the Secretary states that "we need to increase funding" and "refocus our scarce research dollars." The FY 2010 budget, he says, "will improve energy research, development, and deployment at DOE: by developing science and engineering talent; by focusing on transformational research; by pursuing broader, more effective collaborations; and by improving connections between DOE research and private sector energy companies." In response to questioning on high-level nuclear waste disposal, Secretary Chu states that permanent storage at Yucca Mountain could be replaced with a combination of short- and longer-term storage sites and a new strategy to permanently dispose of the waste. He adds that a special commission composed of "a really esteemed bunch of people" will be brought together to look at the issue.

March 9, 2009
President Obama revokes Bush administration limits on federal funding of research involving human embryonic stem cells. Secretary Chu issues a statement regarding the President's decision to allow promising stem cell research to go forward under "strict ethical guidelines." "One of the reasons I joined President Obama's cabinet was his commitment to making decisions on the basis of sound science rather than ideology-a commitment he demonstrated again today with his thoughtful, compassionate decision to allow ethical stem cell research to go forward," says the Secretary. "President Obama also made clear today that his commitment to decisions based on science instead of ideology extends beyond stem cell research-tasking every agency to ensure that sound science is at the heart of decisions we make. From energy to environmental protection to health care reform, Americans will be well served by this approach."

March 9, 2009
President Obama signs a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity, assigning to the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy the responsibility of ensuring the highest level of integrity in all aspects of the executive branch's involvement with scientific and technological issues.

March 9, 2009
The Department's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announces that scientists of the CDF and DZero collaborations have observed particle collisions that produce single top quarks. The discovery of the single top confirms important parameters of particle physics, including the total number of quarks, and has significance for the ongoing search for the Higgs particle at Fermilab's Tevatron, currently the world's most powerful operating particle accelerator.

March 10, 2009
Executives of DOE's Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) appear before the Subcommittee on Water and Power of the House Natural Resources Committee to discuss implementation of new borrowing authority granted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The act increases BPA's borrowing authority by $3.25 billion to $7.7 billion and authorizes WAPA to begin a $3.25-billion loan program to integrate renewable generation into the grid.

March 10, 2009
The National Ignition Facility (NIF), located at DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory becomes the first fusion laser in the world to break the megajoule barrier (pdf). NIF's 192 laser beams deliver 1.1 million joules of ultraviolet energy to the center of its ten-meter-diameter target Chamber-more than 25 times more energy than the 60-beam OMEGA laser at the University of Rochester, the previous record holder for production of ultraviolet energy.

March 11, 2009
President Obama signs into law H.R. 1105, the "Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009." The $410-billion omnibus spending bill combines nine individual spending bills in one package. The bill increases DOE's budget by $2.5 billion over the previous year, with renewable energy, energy efficiency, science, and environmental cleanup receiving the largest increases. Nuclear energy programs and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve receive the largest decreases.

March 11, 2009
President Obama, in a press interview with regional reporters, states that he is a "supporter of biofuels" but that it is "important for us to transition to the next generation of biofuels, that we've got to do a much better job of developing cellulosic ethanol, that corn-based ethanol, over time, is not going to provide us with the energy-efficient solutions that are needed." He adds that it is a "challenge . . . to see our current ethanol technology as a bridge to the biofuels technologies of the future."

March 11, 2009
Secretary Chu testifies before the Senate Budget Committee on the FY 2010 budget. The Secretary emphasizes energy issues, noting that "if we, our children, and our grandchildren are to prosper in the 21st century, we must decrease our dependence on oil, use energy in the most efficient ways possible, and lower our carbon emissions. Meeting these challenges will require both swift action in the near-term and a sustained commitment for the long-term to build a new economy, powered by clean, reliable, affordable, and secure energy." The Secretary notes that "nuclear power is an essential part of our energy mix. It provides clean, baseload generation of electricity."

March 11, 2009
The Department issues a new Funding Opportunity Announcement, valued at least $2.25 million for equipment and infrastructure upgrades at U.S. universities enhancing their ability to conduct cutting-edge nuclear research and development. Infrastructure includes equipment and instrumentation for research reactors and other nuclear science and engineering laboratories and facilities.

March 12, 2009
President Obama announces his intent to nominate Kristina M. Johnson for Under Secretary of Energy.

March 12, 2009
President Obama, speaking before a meeting of the Business Roundtable, reiterates his support for cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions that requires companies to purchase a full 100 percent of their needed carbon allowances. "If you're giving away carbon permits for free," the President notes, "then basically you're not really pricing the thing and it doesn't work, or people can game the system in so many ways that it's not creating the incentive structures that we're looking for."

March 12, 2009
Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary Chu, at the White House Recovery and Reinvestment Act Implementation Conference, detail an investment of nearly $8 billion in state and local weatherization and energy efficiency efforts as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. With an investment of about $5 billion through the Weatherization Assistance Program and about $3 billion for the State Energy Program, DOE will partner with state and local governments to put an estimated 87,000 Americans to work and save families hundreds of dollars per year on energy bills. To jump-start job creation and weatherization work, DOE is releasing the first installment of the funding-about $780 million-in the next few days. Vice President Biden tells state officials that spending the funding "requires an exercise of discipline and accountability and transparency like nothing we have ever done in terms of federal-state relations." "This is a big deal," the Vice President declares. "The work you're doing is going to be critical to the economic well-being of the country. . . . If we don't get this right, folks, this is the end of the opportunity to convince the Congress that anything should go to the states."

March 13, 2009
The Department announces that Secretary Chu, in discussion over the past several weeks with a broad range of world energy ministers, has "stressed the need for global cooperation on energy, economic and climate challenges." The Secretary told "representatives of OPEC nations that price volatility is not in the best interests of the global economy, and urged them to take this into account during their March 15 meeting. But he has also noted that, because the United States consumes almost 20 percent of the world's oil, by far the most effective way for us to reduce prices is to become more efficient and consume less oil. Additionally, he has conveyed to world energy ministers the Administration's belief that the most effective way to make the world economy less vulnerable to price spikes in oil markets is to diversify our energy sources."

March 15, 2009
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) ministers meet in Vienna, Austria. Secretary Chu, in a DOE press release, again stresses the need for energy independence and calls for global cooperation on energy, economic, and climate challenges. "While OPEC's actions are just one factor among many that go into the market price of oil, I'm pleased that there won't be further production cuts-which could help to avoid oil price volatility," Secretary Chu says. "However, I continue to believe that we should stay focused on what our country can do to become energy independent-ending our dependence on foreign oil and investing in new clean energy sources that will put Americans to work and address the global climate crisis."

March 17, 2009
Secretary Chu testifies before the House Committee on Science and Technology on new directions for energy research and development.

March 17, 2009
Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration, testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development on reducing the cost of the U.S. nuclear weapon complex with a "smaller, safer, more secure and less expensive enterprise that leverages the scientific and technical capabilities of our workforce to meet all our national security requirements."

March 17, 2009
The Department's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) issues a report (pdf) examining existing and emerging techniques to monitor, verify, and account for carbon dioxide (CO2) stored in geologic formations.

March 19, 2009
President Obama, visiting the Southern California Edison's Electric Vehicle Center in Pomona, California, announces the availability of $2.4 billion in funding to support production of the next generation Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and the advanced battery components that will make these vehicles run. The Department is offering in grants to U.S. based manufacturers up to $1.5 billion to produce the highly efficient batteries and their components and up to $500 million to produce other components needed for electric vehicles, such as electric motors. The Department also is offering up to $400 million to demonstrate and evaluate Plug-In Hybrids and other electric infrastructure concepts-like truck stop charging station, electric rail, and training for technicians to build and repair electric vehicles. In his remarks, the President states that "we will put one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on America's roads by 2015."

March 20, 2009
President Obama announces his intent to nominate Dr. Steven E. Koonin for Under Secretary for Science.

March 20, 2009
Secretary Chu offers a $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, Inc., to support the company's construction of a commercial-scale manufacturing plant for its proprietary cylindrical solar photovoltaic panels. This loan guarantee will be supported through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is DOE's first loan guarantee of the Obama Administration.

March 20, 2009
The Department's Office of Inspector General issues a Special Report (pdf) on the Department and the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the risks DOE should consider as stimulus activities progress. "Our experience in the investigative arena," DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman informs Secretary Chu, "has demonstrated that even during periods of normal operation, misuse of funds, submission of false or fictitious data, kickbacks and briberies, and other related fraudulent activity occur with troubling frequency. In fact, the Office of Inspector General, on average, has more than 200 fraud-related investigations open at any given time. Since Fiscal Year 2004, these investigations have resulted in about 150 criminal convictions and recoveries and fines in excess of $190 million, some of which involved task force investigations into complex fraud schemes that crossed agency boundaries. This history suggests that the Department's Recovery Act efforts to establish an effective set of safeguards or internal controls to prevent fraudulent activity should be a priority."

March 21, 2009
The Department announces that Iolani School from Honolulu, Hawaii, is the winner of DOE's 2009 Real World Design Challenge (RWDC). Fifty-four high school students representing 10 states from across the nation competed in the National Challenge. The finals were held at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. RWDC is a new annual competition that provides high school students with the opportunity to apply the lessons of the classroom to important energy and environment technical problems currently encountered in the engineering field. The purpose of the RWDC is to ensure the future of our Nation's economic competitiveness by inspiring today's students to become tomorrow's engineers. The theme for the 2009 Challenge was "Aviation and Fuel Consumption."

March 23, 2009
President Obama meets with clean energy entrepreneurs and leaders of the energy research community to discuss his strategy for building a clean energy economy and creating the industries and jobs of the future. The President tells them that "innovators like you are creating the jobs that will foster our recovery-and creating the technologies that will power our long-term prosperity." Noting that necessity is the mother of invention, President Obama states that "at this moment of necessity, we need you. We need some inventiveness. Your country needs you to create new jobs and lead new industries. Your country needs you to mount a historic effort to end once and for all our dependence on foreign oil." Pushing his budge proposals that would make "a historic investment: $150 billion over 10 years in clean energy and energy efficiency," the President says that "we can remain the world's leading importer of foreign oil, or we can become the world's leading exporter of renewable energy. We can allow climate change to wreck unnatural havoc, or we can create jobs preventing its worst effects. We can hand over the jobs of the 21st century to our competitors, or we can create those jobs right here in America."

March 23, 2009
Secretary Chu, during a visit to DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory, announces $1.2 billion in new science funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for major construction, laboratory infrastructure, and research efforts sponsored across the nation by the DOE Office of Science. Among the approved projects (pdf) are: $150 million to accelerate ongoing construction on the National Synchrotron Light Source-II at the Brookhaven lab, $123 million for major construction, modernization, and needed decommissioning of laboratory facilities at various DOE national laboratories, $65 million to accelerate construction of the 12-Billion Electron Volt Upgrade of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at DOE's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, $277 million for Energy Frontier Research Centers, to be awarded on a competitive basis, $90 million for other core research, providing support for graduate students, postdocs, and Ph.D. scientists across the nation, $69 million to create a national scale, prototype 100-gigabit per second data network linking research centers across the nation, $330 million for operations and equipment at Office of Science major scientific user facilities, used annually by over 20,000 researchers, and $125 million for needed infrastructure improvements across nine DOE national laboratories.

March 24, 2009
President Obama, in a press conference, discusses the four key "principles" that he has put forward for the FY 2010 budget: health care, energy, education and deficit cutting. Explaining his climate-change program for the first time to a national audience, the President notes that with "cap and trade, the broader principle is that we've got to move to a new energy era, and that means moving away from polluting energy sources towards cleaner energy sources. That is a potential engine for economic growth. I think cap and trade is the best way, from my perspective, to achieve some of those gains because what it does is it starts pricing the pollution that's being sent into the atmosphere. The way it's structured has to take into account regional differences; it has to protect consumers from huge spikes in electricity prices. So there are a lot of technical issues that are going to have to be sorted through." President Obama adds that cap and trade "will be authorized, we'll get it done and I will sign it."

March 25, 2009
Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, in a press briefing discusses President Obama's "four key principles" for the FY 2010 budget: health care, energy, education and deficit cutting.

March 25, 2009
The Department's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) announces plans to construct and operate a hydrogen fuel production plant and vehicle fueling station at the Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia. The facility will use grid electricity to split water to produce pure hydrogen fuel. The fuel will be used by the airport's operations and the 130th Air Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard. NETL will begin operations at the Yeager Airport facility in August 2009 and plans to conduct two years of testing and evaluation. The facility will be designed using "open architecture," allowing the capability to add innovations and advancements in hydrogen technology as they become available.

March 26, 2009
Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary Chu announce plans to invest $3.2 billion in energy efficiency and conservation projects across the nation. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will support energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements. Other activities eligible for use of grant funds include transportation programs that conserve energy, projects to reduce and capture methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, renewable energy installations on government buildings, energy efficient traffic signals and street lights, and deployment of Combined Heat and Power and district heating and cooling systems. To ensure accountability, DOE will provide guidance to and require grant recipients to report on the number of jobs created or retained, energy saved, renewable energy capacity installed, greenhouse gas emissions reduced, and funds leveraged. "The funding will be used for the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable energy technologies we have-energy efficiency and conservation- which can be deployed immediately," notes Secretary Chu. "The grants also empower local communities to make strategic investments to meet the nation's long term clean energy and climate goals."

March 26, 2009
The Department releases the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for approximately $2.7 billion in estimated formula grants under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; in addition, up to $456 million is planned to be made available under a separate competitive solicitation at a later date. Based on calculations under a series of complex formulas set out in the Energy Independence and Security Act, allocation amounts for states, cities, counties, and Indian tribes eligible for direct formula grants are contained in the FOA and posted on the program's website at www.eecbg.energy.gov .

March 27, 2009
The Department announces the signing of an agreement with Portugal to launch the installation of a portable climate observatory on Graciosa Island in the Azores. The mobile observatory will obtain measurements of cloud and aerosol properties from the island's marine environment for 20 months, beginning in May. The measurements are expected to enhance scientific understanding of the microscopic processes that occur in low-level marine clouds, and will be used to test and improve climate models. The portable observatory, or Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Mobile Facility, is part of DOE's ARM Climate Research Facility, a collection of climate data collection instruments located strategically at various locations around the globe and supported by DOE's Office of Science.

March 28, 2009
President Obama announces the launch of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. The Major Economies Forum is intended to facilitate a candid dialogue among key developed and developing countries, help generate the political leadership necessary to achieve a successful outcome at the UN climate change negotiations that will convene this December in Copenhagen, and advance the exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures that increase the supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Leaders of 16 major economies and the Secretary General of the United Nations have been invited to designate representatives to participate in a preparatory session at the Department of State on April 27-28 in Washington, D.C. The preparatory sessions will culminate in a Major Economies Forum Leaders' meeting, which Prime Minister Berlusconi has agreed to host in La Maddalena, Italy, in July 2009.

March 30, 2009
The Department's Office of Inspector General issues a Special Report (pdf) on the Department's "acquisition workforce" and its impact on the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "As the largest civilian contracting agency in the Federal government," DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman informs Secretary Chu, "sound contract administration policies as well as a stable, experienced acquisition workforce are essential components for the effective execution and performance of the Department's core missions. In recent years, the concern over the availability of acquisition professionals in sufficient numbers to provide effective contract administration has been recognized as one of the Department's most significant management challenges. The Department's enhanced responsibilities under the Recovery Act underscore the importance of this challenge."

March 31, 2009
Secretary Chu announces $6 billion in new funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate environmental cleanup work. Projects identified for funding will focus on accelerating cleanup of soil and groundwater, transportation and disposal of waste, and cleaning and demolishing former nuclear weapons complex facilities. These projects and the new funding are managed by DOE's Office of Environmental Management, which is responsible for the risk reduction and cleanup of the environmental legacy from the nation's nuclear weapons program, one of the largest, most diverse, and technically complex environmental programs in the world.

March 31, 2009
The Department announces that DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has certified the completion of construction of the world's largest laser. Housed at DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) is expected to allow scientists to achieve fusion ignition in the laboratory, obtaining more energy from the target than is provided by the laser. "NIF will be a cornerstone of a critical national security mission, ensuring the continuing reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile without underground nuclear testing, while also providing a path to explore the frontiers of basic science, and potential technologies for energy independence," says NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino.

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April 1, 2009
President Obama and President Dmitriy A. Medvedev of the Russian Federation meet on the sidelines of the G-20 Financial Summit in London and issue a joint statement noting that "the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START Treaty), which expires in December 2009, has completely fulfilled its intended purpose and that the maximum levels for strategic offensive arms recorded in the Treaty were reached long ago." They announce the decision to "begin bilateral intergovernmental negotiations to work out a new, comprehensive, legally binding agreement on reducing and limiting strategic offensive arms to replace the START Treaty." The negotiations are to be concluded by December and will "seek to record levels of reductions in strategic offensive arms that will be lower than those in the 2002 Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions, which is currently in effect." A senior administration official tells the press that this is "a very significant breakthrough-namely, instructionsto negotiators to begin the firming up of a verifiable, legally binding follow-on to the START agreement, which obviously will allow us to maintain very important verification measures after the end of this year, provided that we meet the goal laid out by the Presidents." The two leaders also issue a joint statement on their overall discussions that include commitments to "carry out joint efforts to strengthen the international regime for nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. In this regard we strongly support the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and are committed to its further strengthening."

April 1, 2009
President Obama and President Hu Jintao of China meet on the sidelines of the G-20 Financial Summit in London, and the White House issues a statement that the two sides have agreed, among other things, "to intensify policy dialogue and practical cooperation in energy, the environment and climate change building on the China-US Ten Year Energy and Environment Cooperation Framework, carry out active cooperation in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean energy technologies and work with other parties concerned for positive results at the Copenhagen conference."

April 1, 2009
Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in a speech before the DOE 2009 Annual Project Management Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, discusses the importance of project management best practices and how they relate to NNSA's vision of a smaller, safer, and more efficient nuclear security enterprise.

April 1, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration announces that total nuclear generation in 2008 reached a new high of 808.97 million megawatt hours, a slight increase over the 806.49 million megawatt hours generated in 2007. Nuclear power accounted for 19.7 percent of U.S. electricity generation in 2008, up from 19.4 percent in 2007.

April 1, 2009
The Department and the Environmental Protection Agency honor businesses, regional groups, and government entities for their outstanding commitment to the ENERGY STAR® program. Organizations recognized have achieved major energy savings and/or are helping consumers save money while also increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. ENERGY STAR® is a joint DOE-EPA program, formed in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership that seeks to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency.

April 2, 2009
President Obama meets in London with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and the White House issues a statement that the two leaders discussed, among other things, "the issue of North Korea and promised to continue close cooperation in the effort to peacefully and verifiably eliminate North Korea's nuclear programs, weapons and materiel through Six-Party Talks."

April 2, 2009
President Obama meets in London with King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

April 2, 2009
The House and Senate pass a FY 2010 budget resolution, and the White House issues a statement by President Obama that the "budget resolution embraces our most fundamental priorities: an energy plan that will end our dependence on foreign oil and spur a new clean energy economy; an education system that will ensure our children will be able to compete in the economy of the 21st century; and health care reform that finally confronts the back-breaking costs plaguing families, businesses and government alike."

April 3, 2009
The Department issues Preliminary Notices of Violations (PNOVs) to three contractors-Stanford University, Pacific Underground Construction, Inc., and Western Allied Mechanical, Inc.-for violations in September 2007 of DOE's worker safety and health regulations. Stanford University is the managing and operating contractor for DOE's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), located in Menlo Park, California. At the time the violations occurred, Pacific Underground Construction was performing work at SLAC under subcontract to Stanford University, and Western Allied Mechanical was a subcontractor to Pacific Underground Construction. The PNOVs cite multiple violations of 10 C.F.R. Part 851, Worker Safety and Health Program, resulting from a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe explosion that occurred at SLAC on September 13, 2007. The violations for all three contractors are based on deficiencies in construction safety, fire protection, and adhering to safety procedures.

April 4, 2009
President Obama in his weekly address discusses the G20 meeting in London and notes that Russian President Medvedev and he "discussed our shared commitment to a world without nuclear weapons, and we signed a declaration putting America and Russia on the path to a new treaty to further reduce our nuclear arsenals." President Obama adds that on April 5 he "will lay out additional steps we must take to secure the world's loose nuclear materials and stop the spread of these deadly weapons."

April 5, 2009
President Obama, in remarks made in Prague, Czech Republic, discusses "the future of nuclear weapons in the 21st century." Noting that "the existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War," the President states "clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons" and enumerates the "concrete steps" to be taken toward this goal. The U.S. will: 1) reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy and urge others to do the same, 2) negotiate a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the Russians this year, 3) pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, 4) seek a new treaty that verifiably ends the production of fissile materials intended for use in state nuclear weapons, 5) strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a basis for cooperation, and 6) launch a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years. To strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty, President Obama says, "we should embrace several principles. We need more resources and authority to strengthen international inspections. We need real and immediate consequences for countries caught breaking the rules or trying to leave the treaty without cause. And we should build a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation, including an international fuel bank, so that countries can access peaceful power without increasing the risks of proliferation." The President calls for a "Global Summit on Nuclear Security that the United States will host within the next year."

April 7, 2009
Secretary Chu delivers the keynote address at the 2009 Energy Conference sponsored by DOE's Energy Information Administration. Afterwards, he talks with reporters about the value of investing in carbon capture and storage. "Even if the United States or Europe turns its back on coal, India and China will not," the Secretary notes. "Quite frankly I doubt if the United States will turn its back on coal. We are generating over 50 percent of our electrical energy from coal." Regarding clean-coal technology, the Secretary says "it would take probably a minimum of eight years or more to really have confidence that these technologies will work in a cost-effective way." In the short term, "energy efficiency, energy conservation are where the greatest gains will be." When asked about the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, the Secretary replies that it is "a possibility" but he is "agnostic" about it. Use of natural gas for transportation "will put a strain on natural gas for industrial uses, for heating, and other things." Advanced biofuels, he adds, might be a better option.

April 8, 2009
The Department's Argonne National Laboratory announces that the laboratory is partnering with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Universities of Kentucky and Louisville to establish a national Battery Manufacturing R&D Center to help develop and deploy a domestic supply of advanced battery technologies for vehicle applications. "The Kentucky-Argonne partnership will help in turning the tide on U.S. battery development and support President Obama's goal to have one million Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles on the road by 2015," says Argonne Director Robert Rosner. "It will help to bridge the gap between research and commercialization by facilitating the development and deployment of advanced manufacturing processes for lithium-ion and other advanced batteries."

April 9, 2009
President Obama announces that the General Services Administration will accelerate its purchase of new cars for the government fleet by investing funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to buy about 17,600 new, fuel efficient vehicles produced by American auto companies by June 1, 2009.

April 9, 2009
Top executives from 19 commercial real estate companies meet with DOE officials in New York City to discuss plans to reduce the sector's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The meeting officially launches DOE's Commercial Real Estate Energy Alliance (CREEA), a partnership of commercial real estate owners and operators who have volunteered to work together with DOE to make lasting change in the energy consumption of commercial real estate buildings in the U.S. Currently, commercial buildings account for 18 percent of the nation's energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. CREEA will link building owners and operators with applicable research and technologies being developed at DOE's National Laboratories.

April 10, 2009
After a review of eligibility criteria for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, DOE announces that $16,429,000 in additional funding will go to 23 counties in Delaware, Kansas, and Louisiana to support energy efficiency projects. Based on incorrect data, 23 counties in Delaware, Kansas, and Louisiana were inadvertently grouped as ineligible entities and excluded from the estimated allocation tables released on March 26.

April 13, 2009
The Department proposes new federal standards for fluorescent and incandescent lamps in commercial and office buildings. DOE estimates that the new standards will save consumers 15 to 20 percent in energy costs.

April 13, 2009
The Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) releases its annual assessment of leading utility green power programs. Under these voluntary programs, consumers can choose to help support additional electricity production from renewable resources such as wind and solar. According to the NREL analysis, more than 850 utilities across the U.S. now offer green power programs. Green power sales in 2008 increased by about 20 percent over 2007, and they represent more than 5 percent of total electricity sales for some of the most popular programs. Wind is the primary source of electricity generated for green energy programs nationwide.

April 14, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) issues its Short-Term Energy and Summer Fuels Outlook (pdf). Noting that the price of crude oil averaged $100 per barrel in 2008, the EIA projects that the global economic slowdown will reduce the average price to $53 per barrel in 2009. Assuming an economic recovery, prices are expected to average $63 in 2010. During this summer driving season (April through September), the EIA projects that gasoline prices will average $2.23 per gallon, down almost $1.60 from summer 2008.

April 14, 2009
President Obama announces his intent to nominate Daniel B. Poneman as Deputy Secretary of Energy.

April 15, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) signs an agreement to work with the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kenya and other Kenyan agencies to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at the Port of Mombasa. NNSA will also train Kenyan government officials to use this equipment.

April 15, 2009
The Department announces it is accepting proposals for a program to support high-impact scientific advances through the use of some of the world's most powerful supercomputers located at DOE national laboratories. Approximately 1.3 billion supercomputer processor-hours will be awarded in 2010 through the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program for large-scale, computationally intensive projects addressing some of the toughest challenges in science and engineering.

April 15, 2009
Secretary Chu announces $41.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for fuel cell technology. These efforts will accelerate the commercialization and deployment of fuel cells and will create jobs in fuel cell manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and support services. The new funding will improve the potential of fuel cells to provide power in stationary, portable, and specialty vehicle applications, while cutting carbon emissions and broadening the nation's clean energy technology portfolio. "The investments we're making today will help us build a robust fuel cell manufacturing industry in the United States," says Secretary Chu.

April 15, 2009
The Department announces that Secretary Chu will travel with President Obama to Mexico City, Mexico, and Port of Spain, Trinidad, to highlight the Administration's commitment to working with partners in the region to address shared energy, economic, security and climate challenges. On April 16, Secretary Chu will accompany the President to Mexico City for bilateral talks with President Felipe Calderón and Mexican Energy Minister Georgina Kessel on the important partnership between the two countries on economic and security issues as well as on matters related to energy and climate change. On April 17, the Secretary will travel with President Obama to Port of Spain, Trinidad, for the 5th Summit of the Americas where he will highlight the important energy challenges and opportunities the region faces, and emphasize the need to form dynamic partnerships with countries in the hemisphere who are willing to work with the U.S. to reduce dependence on oil, make economies more energy efficient, and address the global climate crisis.

April 16, 2009
Secretary Chu announces $41.9 million in Recovery Act funding to spur growth of fuel cell markets. The funding will support immediate deployment of nearly 1,000 fuel cell systems for emergency backup power and material handling applications (e.g., forklifts) that have emerged as key early markets in which fuel cells can compete with conventional power technologies. Additional systems will be used to accelerate the demonstration of stationary fuel cells for combined heat and power in the larger residential and commercial markets.

April 16, 2009
President Obama, along with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, release a strategic plan (pdf) outlining the Administration's vision for high speed rail in America. The plan identifies $8 billion provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and $1 billion a year for five years requested in the federal budget as a down payment to jump-start a potential world-class passenger rail system and sets the direction of transportation policy for the future. "My high-speed rail proposal will lead to innovations that change the way we travel in America," says the President. "We'll move to cleaner energy and a cleaner environment, we'll reduce our need for foreign oil by millions of barrels a year, and eliminate more than 6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually-equal to removing 1 million cars from our roads."

April 16, 2009
President Obama and President Felipe Calderón of Mexico announce plans to strengthen and deepen bilateral cooperation by establishing the US-Mexico Bilateral Framework on Clean Energy and Climate Change. During their discussions in Mexico City, the two leaders agree on the importance of promoting clean energy and combating climate change and the value of joint and practical collaboration in achieving these goals. The Bilateral Framework establishes a mechanism for political and technical cooperation and information exchange, and to facilitate common efforts to develop clean energy economies. It will also complement and reinforce existing work between the two countries. The Bilateral Framework will focus on: renewable energy, energy efficiency, adaptation, market mechanisms, forestry and land use, green jobs, low carbon energy technology development and capacity building.

April 16, 2009
Vice President Biden, on a visit to Jefferson City, Missouri, with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, details plans by DOE to develop a smart, strong, and secure electrical grid, which will create new jobs and help deliver reliable power more effectively with less impact on the environment to customers across the nation. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Vice President outlines plans to distribute more than $3.3 billion in smart grid technology development grants and an additional $615 million for smart grid storage, monitoring and technology viability. "We need an upgraded electrical grid to take full advantage of the vast renewable resources in this country-to take the wind from the Midwest and the sun from the Southwest and power areas across the country," says the Vice President. Secretary Locke also announces plans for a Smart Grid meeting in May in Washington, D.C., that he will chair with Secretary Chu. The event will bring together leaders from key stakeholders' organizations, largely from private industry, to begin a critical discussion about developing industry-wide standards that will enable the Smart Grid to become a reality.

April 16, 2009
A DOE spokesperson announces that DOE is cancelling plans to build a demonstration plant in the U.S. that would reprocess spent fuel from nuclear power plants. This is a key component of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) initiated by the Bush administration in 2006 to promote the growth of nuclear energy in the U.S. and other countries. The Department plans to keep the part of the GNEP program known as the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative

April 17, 2009
President Obama, in remarks at the opening ceremony at the Summit of the Americas, calls for a "new partnership on energy" to "strengthen the foundation of our prosperity and our security and our environment." He proposes the "creation of a new Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas" in which "each country will bring its own unique resources and needs, so we will ensure that each country can maximize its strengths as we promote efficiency and improve our infrastructure, share technologies, support investments in renewable sources of energy."

April 17, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the selection of a new demonstration and testing project to develop a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) school bus to be used in fleets across the country.
Navistar Corporation in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has been selected by DOE for negotiation of a cost-shared award of up to $10 million to develop, test, and deploy an electric hybrid school bus.

April 17, 2009
The Environmental Protection Agency, after a scientific review ordered in 2007 by the U.S. Supreme Court, issues a proposed finding that greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. The finding allows the federal government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, power plants, and other sources.

April 17, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration releases an update (pdf) of the Annual Energy Outlook 2009 based on the energy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and "the changing macroeconomic environment." The largest energy impacts are in the renewable electricity and buildings sectors. By 2012, wind generation with the ARRA is expected to be more than twice that projected without a stimulus. By 2030, total installed wind capacity is projected to be 67 percent greater because of the ARRA-stimulated growth than without a stimulus. New geothermal and biomass capacity also will increase considerably. Weatherization and efficiency improvements spurred by ARRA funding will reduce household heating consumption by 1.7 percent in 2030 and cooling consumption by 3.4 percent in 2030. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will be 1.3 percent lower in 2013 due to the ARRA.

April 19, 2009
President Obama, at the Summit of the Americas, invites countries of the region to participate in an Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, a voluntary and flexible framework for advancing energy security and combating climate change. Countries will be encouraged to suggest tangible ideas for cooperation, including on energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner fossil fuels, and energy infrastructure. The President also asks Secretary Chu to advance further cooperation with his counterparts this June in Peru at the Americas Energy Symposium. On global climate change, President Obama expresses his commitment to working with his regional counterparts toward a strong international climate agreement at Copenhagen and will work closely with Brazil, Canada, and Mexico through the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate.

April 20, 2009
The Department announces (pdf) that the first trainload of uranium mill tailings has been shipped in a process that will eventually move 16 million tons of uranium mill tailings away from the Colorado River near Moab, Utah. The mill tailings are being moved by train to a location 30 miles away, near Crescent Junction, Utah, where they will be safely and permanently disposed of in an engineered cell.

April 22, 2009
An op-ed by Secretary Chu and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis on green jobs and energy independence appears in a half-dozen newspapers across the country to commemorate Earth Day.

April 22, 2009
Vice President Biden, during a visit to the WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) Carmen Turner Maintenance and Training Facility in Landover, Maryland, announces $300 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for state and local governments and transit authorities to expand the nation's fleet of clean, sustainable vehicles and the fueling infrastructure necessary to support them.

April 22, 2009
President Obama marks Earth Day by traveling to Newton, Iowa, to visit Trinity Structural Towers, the former Maytag appliance factory that now houses a green manufacturing facility, which produces towers for wind energy production and employs dozens of former Maytag employees. In his remarks, the President reaffirms his commitment to a comprehensive energy plan that lessens dependence on foreign oil, creates jobs, and helps win the race toward clean energy technology. "On this Earth Day," the President notes, "it is time for us to lay a new foundation for economic growth by beginning a new era of energy exploration in America."

April 22, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) marks the 30th Anniversary of the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, also known as NARAC, located at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. NARAC provides near-real-time computer predictions of the transport and deposition of hazardous airborne materials.

April 27, 2009
President Obama, in remarks at the National Academy of Sciences annual meeting, outlines his commitment to basic and applied research, innovation, and education. The President announces 1) the intent to finish the 10-year doubling of budgets at the National Science Foundation, DOE's Office of Science, and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, 2) the launch of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at DOE and grants to establish 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers, 3) a joint DOE and the National Science Foundation initiative called RE-ENERGYSE (REgaining our ENERGY Science and Engineering Edge) that will inspire American students to pursue careers in science, engineering, and entrepreneurship related to clean energy, and 4) the membership of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

April 27, 2009
The Department announces (pdf) a finalized agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to transfer $38.3 million to fund a complete radiological characterization survey at the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) site at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. The funding, provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will be used to conduct radiological assessments that are necessary to complete the environmental impact statement and site cleanup.

April 28, 2009
The Department hosts the second meeting of the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Energy Working Group at Idaho National Laboratory. This was the first meeting held by the Working Group since entry into force of the U.S.-India peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement signed in October 2008. Discussions at the three-day meeting focus on deepening mutual understanding of each country's nuclear energy development plans, including light water reactors, near term reactor deployment, licensing, management of nuclear waste, research and development programs as well as international best practices.

April 29, 2009
President Obama, at a town-hall event at Arnold, Missouri, marking his 100th day in office, states that he is pleased but "not satisfied" with the progress his administration has made in its first 100 days. "We can't rest until we harness the renewable energy that can create millions of new jobs and new industries," the President declares. "The Recovery Act will double the supply of renewable energy, but the only way to truly spark an energy transformation is through a gradual, market-based cap on carbon pollution so that energy, clean energy is the profitable kind of energy. And we can do this in a way that creates jobs. That's how we can grow our economy, enhance our security, and protect our planet at the same time." On climate change, the President adds that "if the temperature of the planet goes up 5 degrees, you're now looking at coastlines underwater. You're now looking at huge, cataclysmic hurricanes, complete changes in weather patterns. Some places will get hotter, some places will get colder. Our economy would be disrupted by tens of trillions of dollars. So this is no joke. And the science shows that the planet is getting warmer faster than people expected."

April 29, 2009
Steven Chu, during a visit to DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), announces plans to provide $93 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support further development of wind energy in the U.S. The funding will leverage DOE's national laboratories, universities, and the private sector to help improve reliability and overcome key technical challenges for the wind industry. Secretary Chu also announces more than $100 million in funding from the Recovery Act for NREL facility and infrastructure improvements.

April 29, 2009
The Department announces the launch of the Hospital Energy Alliance (HEA), an industry-led partnership between the DOE and national healthcare sector leaders to promote the integration of advanced energy efficiency and renewable technologies in hospital design, construction, retrofit, operations, and maintenance.

April 30, 2009
The Department issues a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to UChicago Argonne, LLC, for violations of DOE's worker safety and health regulations. UChicago Argonne is the managing and operating contractor for DOE's Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). The PNOV cites multiple violations associated with two incidents that occurred in the same building at ANL in March 2008. The violations include failures to identify and assess workplace hazards, establish controls to prevent and abate hazards, provide adequate training and information to employees, and adhere to safety procedures.

April 30, 2009
The White House's Office of the Federal Environmental Executive announces that DOE's Y-12 National Security Complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is one of fifteen winners of the 2009 White House Closing the Circle award, which recognizes federal leadership in environmental sustainability. Y-12 is recognized for its ability to integrate pollution prevention into sophisticated manufacturing and materials handling operations. DOE's Savannah River National Laboratory and the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Savannah River Site earn honorable mention (pdf) for an innovative environmental initiative-the development and deployment of a new remote gasket removal and replacement tool-that reduces contaminated waste requiring disposal and eliminates the need for people to enter a high-radiation area of the waste processing facility.

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May 1, 2009
Officials from the Department's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Minnesota break ground for the NuMI Off-Axis Electron Neutrino Appearance (NOvA) detector facility near Orr, Minnesota. The 15,000-ton particle detector will investigate the role of subatomic particles called neutrinos in the origin of the universe. DOE's Office of Science has provided $40.1 million in Recovery Act funding for the construction project. It will provide an additional $9.9 million in Recovery Act funding to Fermilab, which manages the project, for purchasing key high-tech components.

May 4, 2009
Vice President Biden, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) visit the University of Delaware where they underscore the importance of alternative energy development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, especially offshore wind resources for Delaware and other Atlantic coastal states. "The development of renewable energy in the offshore waters," the Vice President notes, will "enable Delaware, and enable a nation, to tap into our ocean's vast, vast sustainable resources to generate clean energy in an environmentally sound and safe manner."

May 4, 2009
The Department announces the selection of six cost-shared University Advanced Combustion and Emissions Controls research and development projects totaling up to $13 million. The research projects will contribute to the development of high efficiency internal combustion engines with the goals of improving fuel economies by 20-40 percent in light-duty vehicles and attaining 55 percent brake thermal efficiency in heavy-duty engine systems.

May 4, 2009
Mira Loma High School from Sacramento, California, and Hopkins Junior High School from Fremont, California, win the DOE National Science Bowl®.

May 5, 2009
President Obama takes steps to advance biofuels research and commercialization. The President established a Biofuels Interagency Working Group, to be co-chaired by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He announces the EPA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Renewable Fuel Standard. This proposal outlines the EPA's strategy for increasing the supply of renewable fuels, poised to reach 36 billion gallons by 2022, as mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The President and Secretary Chu also announce plans to provide $786.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate advanced biofuels research and development and to provide additional funding for commercial-scale biorefinery demonstration projects. The funding is a mix of new funding opportunities and additional funding for existing projects. It will be allocated across four main areas: 1) $480 million solicitation for integrated pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries, 2) $176.5 million for commercial-scale biorefinery projects, 3) $110 million for fundamental research in key program areas, and 4) $20 million for ethanol research.

May 5, 2009
President Obama transmits to Congress a list of the sites, locations, facilities, and activities in the U.S. that he will declare to the International Atomic Energy Agency, under the Protocol Additional to the Agreement between the United States of America and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Safeguards in the United States of America, with Annexes, signed at Vienna on June 12, 1998. This constitutes a report thereon, as required by section 271 of Public Law 109-401.

May 6, 2009
Secretary Chu announces selection of 53 new wind energy projects for up to $8.5 million in total DOE funding. These projects will help begin to address market and deployment challenges identified in DOE's 2008 report: 20% Wind Energy by 2030.

May 6, 2009
Secretary Chu and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan sign a Memorandum of Understanding (pdf) to coordinate energy retrofit programs to help working families weatherize their homes as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The collaboration will help minimize administrative barriers and simplify the process for residents of HUD public and assisted housing that are seeking to weatherize their homes under the DOE Weatherization Assistance Program, which is targeted to low-income households.

May 6, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the selection of 71 university research project awards as part of DOE's investments in cutting-edge nuclear energy research and development. Under the Nuclear Energy University Program, these 71 projects will receive approximately $44 million over three years to advance new nuclear technologies in support of the nation's energy goals.

May 7, 2009
Secretary Chu details President Obama's $26.4 billion Fiscal Year 2010 budget request for DOE released in outline February 26. According to DOE, the budget: cuts funding for programs that are not needed or are not as effective as other investments such as more than $200 million in oil and gas company research that the companies can and do fund on their own, expands the use of clean, renewable energy sources while improving energy transmission infrastructure, supports the development of a smart and secure electricity grid, helps restore America's leadership in scientific research and innovation, makes significant investments in low-emissions plug-in and hybrid vehicles, nuclear energy, and clean coal technologies, and supports the ongoing security of the nuclear weapons stockpile. Up less than one percent from the FY 2009 budget enacted in the 2009 omnibus spending bill that the President signed on March 11, the 2010 budget "complements" the $38.7 billion DOE will invest as part of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "A lot of our activities benefited from significant investments through the recovery act," notes Steve Isakowitz, DOE's chief financial officer. "In those instances where we felt we had ample funds in the recovery act, it meant that we didn't have to put quite as much in the 2010."

May 7, 2009
The Department's Sandia National Laboratories announces that researchers have successfully designed and demonstrated key features of a hydrogen storage system that utilizes a complex metal hydride material known as sodium alanate. The system, developed through a multiyear project funded by General Motors Corp., stores 3 kilograms of hydrogen and is large enough to evaluate control strategies suitable for use in vehicle applications. The design tools developed by Sandia researchers provide GM with a workable template for future designs, which is expected to significantly save the company costs and time when developing hydrogen storage systems for onboard vehicular applications.

May 8, 2009
The Department announces (pdf) that 400 employees have been hired at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. The new jobs involve environmental cleanup. In addition, Recovery Act funding has saved the jobs of approximately 300 current Hanford employees.

May 12, 2009
Secretary Chu and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announce DOE's intent to award Massachusetts $25 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate development of the state's Wind Technology Testing Center. The new center will test commercial-sized wind turbine blades to help reduce cost, improve technical advancements, and speed deployment of the next generation of wind turbine blades into the marketplace.

May 13, 2009
Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration, testifies before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces on the 2010 NNSA budget request of $9.9 billion.

May 15, 2009
Secretary Chu announces at the National Coal Council that $2.4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be used to expand and accelerate the commercial deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. $800 million will be used to expand DOE's Clean Coal Power Initiative, which provides government co-financing for new coal technologies that can help utilities cut sulfur, nitrogen and mercury pollutants from power plants. $1.52 billion will be used for a two-part competitive solicitation for large-scale CCS from industrial sources. The industrial sources include, but are not limited to, cement plants, chemical plants, refineries, steel and aluminum plants, manufacturing facilities, and petroleum coke-fired and other power plants. The second part of the solicitation will include innovative concepts for beneficial CO2 reuse (CO2 mineralization, algae production, etc.) and CO2 capture from the atmosphere. $70 million will be used for geologic sequestration site characterization, training, and research.

May 16, 2009
President Obama, in his weekly address, praises individuals representing different perspectives for coming together to address the challenges of building a clean energy economy. "For the first time," he notes, "utility companies and corporate leaders are joining, not opposing, environmental advocates and labor leaders to create a new system of clean energy initiatives that will help unleash a new era of growth and prosperity."

May 16, 2009
The White House announces that President Obama is scheduled to travel to Moscow, Russia, July 6 to 8 at the invitation of President Medvedev. The summit meeting will provide an opportunity for the U.S. and the Russian Federation to deepen engagement on reducing nuclear weapons, cooperating on non-proliferation, exploring ways to cooperate on missile defense, addressing mutual threats and security challenges, and expanding the ties between American and Russian society and business.

May 18, 2009
Secretary Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, after chairing a meeting of industry leaders at the White House on expediting development of a nationwide "smart" electric power grid, announce the first set of standards that are needed for the interoperability and security of the Smart Grid and $10 million in Recovery Act funds provided by DOE to the National Institute of Standards and Technology to support the development of interoperability standards. Secretary Chu also announces that based on feedback from the public and Smart Grid stakeholders, the DOE is increasing the maximum award available under the Recovery Act for Smart Grid programs. The maximum award available under the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program will be increased from $20 million to $200 million and for the Smart Grid Demonstration Projects from $40 million to $100 million.

May 18, 2009
The Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation agree on a final cleanup action for the inactive High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory. The work will cost an estimated $144 million and includes removal and disposal of the remaining HFBR structures, systems, and components, including the reactor vessel.

May 19, 2009
President Obama, in the Rose Garden at the White House, announces a new national policy aimed at both increasing fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas pollution for all new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. The new standards, covering model years 2012-2016, and ultimately requiring an average fuel economy standard of 35.5 mpg in 2016, are projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program witha fuel economy gain averaging more than 5 percent per year and a reduction of approximately 900 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions. "For the first time in history," the President notes in his remarks, "we have set in motion a national policy aimed at both increasing gas mileage and decreasing greenhouse gas pollution for all new trucks and cars sold in the United States of America." The White House issues a fact sheet detailing why the new policy is good for consumers, the economy, and the country.

May 19, 2009
President Obama meets with former Secretaries of State George Schultz and Henry Kissinger, former Senator and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee Sam Nunn, and former Secretary of Defense William Perry to discuss key priorities in U.S. non-proliferation policy. "It is absolutely imperative that America takes leadership, working with not just our Russian counterparts but countries all around the world, to reduce and ultimately eliminate the dangersthat are posed by nuclear weapons," the President states. "And we can take some very specific steps in order to do this. We can revitalize our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We can work with the Russians, as the two countries with by far the largest nuclear stockpiles, to continue to reduce our dependence on nuclear weapons. We can move forward on a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It's going to require more work, but I think that we can get something accomplished there and we can lock down loose nuclear weapons that could fall into the hands of terrorists."

May 19, 2009
The Department announces that Secretary Chu will lead the U.S. delegation to the Group of 8 (G8) Energy Ministers' Meeting in Rome from May 23-25. The Secretary will meet with top energy leaders from around the world to address global energy security and climate change challenges. Secretary Chu will then travel to the United Kingdom from May 26-28 to participate in the St. James's Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium, organized by the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainable Leadership.

May 19, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration announces the removal of 73.7 kilograms (162.5 pounds) of Russian-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) "spent" nuclear fuel from Kazakhstan. The material was removed and returned to Russia by rail for storage at a secure nuclear facility in a series of four shipments between December 2008 and May 2009.

May 20, 2009
President Obama attends the first official quarterly meeting of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. The focus of the meeting is on energy and green jobs, and the board provides recommendations on how to enhance the strength and competitiveness of the nation's economy through the creation of a comprehensive energy plan that will generate clean energy jobs. The board also discusses a cap and trade system on carbon emissions.

May 20, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration announces that preliminary estimates indicate that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels decreased by 2.8 percent in 2008, from 5,967 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (MMTCO2) in 2007 to 5,802 MMTCO2 in 2008. This is the largest annual decline in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions since EIA began annual reporting on greenhouse gas emissions.

May 21, 2009
President Obama transmits to Congress, pursuant to sections 123 b. and 123 d. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2153(b), (d)), the text of a proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Arab Emirates Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. He also transmits his written approval, authorization, and determination concerning the agreement.

May 21, 2009
The Department announces that the Senate has confirmed six DOE nominees, including Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman, Under Secretary for Energy Kristina Johnson, and Under Secretary for Science Steven Koonin.

May 21, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration announces that it has successfully removed 14.5 kilograms (32 lbs) of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in "spent" nuclear fuel from Australia. The HEU spent fuel was transported by truck, rail, and ship under secure conditions with the cooperation of Australia and several international organizations and will now be secured at DOE's Savannah River Site.

May 21, 2009
Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration, testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development on the 2010 NNSA budget request of $9.9 billion.

May 23, 2009
Secretary Chu joins with Italian Minister of Economic Development Claudio Scajola, in a meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 8 (G8) Energy Ministers' Meeting in Rome, to sign a bilateral agreement (pdf) to advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies in each country. Under the Clean Coal and Carbon Sequestration Annex, Italy and the U.S. will cooperate on a wide variety of CCS projects and issue areas, including power generation processes, advanced coal gasification technologies, power system simulations, characterizing subsurface carbon sequestration potential, and exchanging CCS researchers.

May 24, 2009
Secretary Chu joins with top energy leaders from around the world to launch the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). As part of the Group of 8 (G8) Energy Ministers Meeting in Rome, G8 members and other interested countries took steps to accelerate the implementation of energy efficient measures in their economies. IPEEC signatories include members of the G8-Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.-and key emerging economies such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and the Republic of Korea. In 2008, top energy leaders from the G8, China, India and the Republic of Korea proposed the IPEEC partnership.

May 25, 2009
President Obama issues a statement following an announcement by North Korea that it has conducted a nuclear test in violation of international law. "By acting in blatant defiance of the United Nations Security Council," the President says, "North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community."

May 26, 2009
An opinion piece by Secretary Chu appears in the Times of London. The piece highlights President Obama's commitment to improving America's energy policy and addressing the global climate crisis.

May 26, 2009
Secretary Chu in London joins with Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, at a meeting of the Middle Class Task Force in Denver, in announcing new agency partnerships to foster job growth for a new green economy.

May 26, 2009
The Department's Sandia National Laboratories announces the signing of an agreement with Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology to conduct and share research of mutual interest. Areas of immediate importance named in the memorandum of understanding include photovoltaics, nanoelectronics, nanomaterials and computational investigations of the properties of materials. Collaborations are expected to include staff exchanges between the two labs and information-sharing through jointly held workshops.

May 27, 2009
President Obama, marking the 100th day of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act on a tour of the photovoltaic array at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, announces over $467 million from the Recovery Act to expand and accelerate the development, deployment, and use of geothermal and solar energy throughout the U.S. $350 million will be provided to support geothermal projects in four crucial areas: geothermal demonstration projects; Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) research and development; innovative exploration techniques; and a National Geothermal Data System, Resource Assessment and Classification System. $117.6 will be provided to accelerate widespread commercialization of clean solar energy technologies, including photovoltaic technology development, solar energy deployment, and concentrating solar power research and development. Nellis Air Force Base is home to the largest solar photovoltaic array in the U.S., and 25 percent of the energy used by the 12,000 people that live and work on the base is generated by the 72,000 solar panel installation.

May 27, 2009
The National Research Council releases a congressionally mandated report on energy efficiency standards for appliances that recommends that DOE should consider gradually changing its system of setting standards to a full-fuel-cycle measurement, which takes into account both the energy used to operate an appliance, as well as upstream energy costs-energy consumed in producing and distributing fuels from coal, oil, and natural gas, and energy lost in generating and delivering electric power. This change, the report indicates, would offer consumers more complete information on household energy consumption and its environmental impacts.

May 27, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration releases its International Energy Outlook 2009 (pdf). The report notes that the current global economic downturn will dampen world energy demand in the near term, as manufacturing and consumer demand for goods and services slows. However, with economic recovery anticipated to begin within the next 12 to 24 months, most nations are expected to see energy consumption growth at rates anticipated prior to the recession. Total world energy use rises from 472 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2006 to 552 quadrillion Btu in 2015 and then to 678 quadrillion Btu in 2030. As the world's economies recover, higher world oil prices are assumed to return and to persist through 2030, with world oil prices rise to $110 per barrel in 2015 (in real 2007 dollars) and $130 per barrel in 2030.

May 27, 2009
The Department breaks ground on a $95 million Chemical and Materials Sciences facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Construction of the new laboratory facility is supported by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The facility will provide up to 160,000 square feet of laboratory and office space that will be used to design new materials for energy-related products such as batteries and solar panels.

May 27, 2009
The Department announces the creation of a new National Carbon Capture Center to develop and test technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-based power plants. Managed and operated by Southern Company Services Inc., the center will be located at the Power Systems Development Facility in Wilsonville, Alabama.

May 28, 2009
Secretary Chu issues a statement at the conclusion of the Nobel Laureate Symposium he attended in London. He notes that the "Declaration by the Nobel Laureates reflects the consensus of scientists both that the threat of global warming is real and that it is not yet too late for us to take action to prevent the worst consequences." He adds that "I have never been as optimistic as I am today that we have a real chance for action to address this crisis and fundamentally transform the way we use and produce energy."

May 28, 2009
President Obama, in response to a reporter's question on what "message" he would have on energy policy and oil prices for Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah when the two leaders meet on June 3, says that he does not "think that it's in Saudi Arabia's interests or our interests to have a situation in which our economy is dependent, or better yet, is disrupted constantly by huge spikes in energy prices. And it's in nobody's interest, internationally, for us to continue to be so heavily dependent on fossil fuels that we continue to create the greenhouse gases that threaten the planet.
So in those discussions I'll be very honest with King Abdullah, with whom I've developed a good relationship, indicating to him that we're not going to be eliminating our need for oil imports in the immediate future; that's not our goal. What our goal has to be is to advance the clean energy solutions in this country that can strengthen our economy, put people back to work, diversify our energy sources."

May 28, 2009
The Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announces that it has signed a research collaboration agreement with the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN). NREL and ECN will join forces on areas such as policy studies, energy analysis, wind energy and solar photovoltaic energy.

May 29, 2009
The Conference on Disarmament adopts its Programme of Work for 2009 that includes establishing a Working Group to negotiate a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. President Obama issues a statement welcoming the announcement. "There is no greater security challenge in the world today than turning the tide on nuclear-proliferation, and pursuing the goal of a nuclear-free world," the President says. "The treaty will help to cap nuclear arsenals, strengthen the consensus underlying the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and deny terrorists access to nuclear materials."

May 29, 2009
The Department official dedicates the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

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June 1, 2009
Secretary Chu announces plans to provide $256 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency improvements in major industrial sectors across the American economy. The funding is targeted at reducing the energy consumption of America's manufacturing and information technology (IT) industries. The funding will focus on three main areas: 1) $156 million for combined heat and power, district energy systems, waste energy recovery systems, and efficient industrial equipment, 2) $50 million for improved energy efficiency for information and communication technology, and 3) $50 million for advanced materials in support of advanced clean energy technologies and energy-intensive processes.

June 2, 2009
Secretary Chu, during a visit to a manufacturer of geothermal heating pumps (GHPs) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, announces nearly $50 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to advance commercial deployment of the renewable heating and cooling systems, which use energy from below the Earth's surface to move heat either into or away from the home or building.

June 3, 2009
President Obama meets with King Abdullah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

June 3, 2009
Secretary Chu testifies on the 2010 budget request before the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development of the House Committee on Appropriations. The Secretary states (pdf) that one of his "highest priorities" is "amplifying the Office of Science's fundamental research with innovative approaches to solving the nation's energy problems." He cites "three initiatives designed to cover the spectrum of a basic to applied science to maximize our chances of energy breakthroughs"-Energy Frontier Research Centers and ARPA-E, announced by President Obama in late April, and eight Energy Innovation Hubs to be launched with the 2010 budget. The hubs will be "multidisciplinary, highly collaborative teams, ideally working under one roof to solve priority technology challenges such as artificial photosynthesis, the creation of fuels from sunlight," the Secretary notes. "Bringing together the best scientists from different disciplines and collaborative efforts is our best hope of achieving priority goals such as making solar energy cost-competitive with fossil fuels, or developing new building designs that dramatically use less energy, or developing an economical battery that will take your car 300 miles without recharging. These are the breakthroughs we need, and the Energy Innovation Hubs will help us achieve them."

June 3, 2009
The Department's Argonne National Laboratory and BASF, the world's largest chemical company, announce the signing of a world-wide licensing agreement to mass produce and market Argonne's patented composite cathode materials to manufacturers of advanced lithium-ion batteries. BASF will conduct further lithium-ion battery material application development in its Beachwood, Ohio facility. Contingent upon winning a DOE grant under Recovery Act - Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative, BASF plans to build one of North America's largest cathode material production facilities in Elyria, Ohio. "This licensing agreement has the potential to put the United States several steps closer to reaching President Obama's goal of having one million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on the road by 2015," says Argonne Director Eric Isaacs.

June 4, 2009
Secretary Chu discusses climate change in his Harvard University Commencement Address.

June 5, 2009
Secretary Chu and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on World Environment Day, meet in Washington to discuss progress on energy and climate issues. The two leaders agree on the global nature of our energy, climate and economic challenges, and the urgent need for action to address them. They review opportunities for international cooperation and participation by nations around the world in promoting clean energy and energy efficiency as well as combating climate change. They emphasize the importance of these efforts in helping to create new jobs as part of the global economic recovery effort.

June 8, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the transfer of nearly $80 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, and Oregon to expand state weatherization assistance programs. These are the first four states to receive funding. After submitting their comprehensive state weatherization plans that were due on May 12, these states are now receiving 40 percent of the total funding previously authorized under the legislation. This installment adds to the initial 10 percent of the states' funding allocations that were previously awarded for training and ramp up activities.

June 11, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration and the Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine hold a ceremony to commission new radiation detection systems at Odessa's International Airport.

June 11, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $300 million worth of investments that will boost a range of clean energy technologies. These include: 1) $240 million for the development of high efficiency vehicles in two areas-system level technology development, integration, and demonstration for efficient Class 8 trucks and advanced technology powertrains for light-duty vehicles, 2) $22 million for 24 new solar projects to advance photovoltaic (PV) technology research, development, and design to lower the cost of PV generation and $27 million to develop the nation's solar installation training infrastructure, and 3) $11.3 million for nine projects (pdf) that will develop pre-combustion carbon capture technologies that can reduce CO2 emissions in future coal-based integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants.

June 12, 2009
Secretary Chu announces an agreement with the FutureGen Alliance that advances the construction of the first commercial scale, fully integrated, carbon capture and sequestration project in the country in Mattoon, Illinois. Under the terms of the provisional agreement between DOE and the FutureGen Alliance, DOE will issue a Record of Decision on the project by the middle of July, with a final decision either to move forward or to discontinue the project to be made in early in 2010. DOE's total anticipated financial contribution for the project is $1.073 billion, $1 billion of which comes from Recovery Act funds for CCS research. The FutureGen Alliance's total anticipated financial contribution is $400 million to $600 million, based on a goal of 20 member companies each contributing a total of $20 million to $30 million over a four to six year period. The Alliance, with support from DOE, will pursue options to raise additional non-federal funds needed to build and operate the facility.

June 12, 2009
Secretary Chu discusses climate change in his California Institute of Technology Commencement Address.

June 15, 2009
Secretary Chu and other senior Obama Administration officials announce steps to promote clean energy at the Western Governors' Association Annual Meeting. The Secretary commits the following new funding under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act: 1) $80 million to support long-term, coordinated interconnection transmission planning across the country, 2) $50 million to support state public utility commissions and their key role in regulating and overseeing new electricity projects, which can include smart grid developments, renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, carbon capture and storage projects, etc., and 3) $39.5 million for state governments to improve emergency preparedness plans and ensure the resiliency of the country's electrical grid. The Department and the Western Governors' Association also release a joint report (pdf) by the Western Renewable Energy Zones initiative that takes first steps toward identifying areas in the Western transmission network that have the potential for large-scale development of renewable resources with low environmental impacts. In addition, the Western Governors' Association and DOE sign a Memorandum of Agreement to enhance the safety and security of transporting nuclear waste from sites within and outside the Western region to DOE's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico.

June 15, 2009
Energy ministers and other government energy leaders from across the Americas come together with major energy corporations and other experts in Lima, Peru, for the two-day Americas Energy and Climate Symposium. The Symposium, the first major energy event after the Summit of the Americas earlier this year, results in the announcement of concrete joint actions to improve energy efficiency, promote clean and renewable energy, and increase information sharing on best practices and past experiences. DOE's Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs David Sandalow joins with Ambassador Craig Kelly to lead the U.S. Delegation to Peru.

June 15, 2009
The Department's Brookhaven National Laboratory announces that it is beginning construction of the conventional facilities at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II). Some of the $150 million in Recovery Act funding for the facility went towards accelerating the construction of NSLS-II.

June 15, 2009
The National Research Council releases Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments, a report by a panel of its America's Energy Future project, which is sponsored in part by DOE. The panel finds that renewable energy resources in the U.S. are sufficient to meet a significant portion of the nation's electricity needs. Non-hydroelectric renewable resources-solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass-currently account for only 2.5 percent of U.S. electricity but, the panel notes, could contribute up to 10 percent of U.S. electricity by 2020 and 20 percent or more by 2035. Major scientific advances and changes to the way electricity is generated, transmitted, and used, the panel says, will be needed before renewables can contribute the majority of U.S. electricity. Necessary improvements include the development of intelligent, two-way electric grids; large-scale and distributed electricity storage; and significantly enhanced, yet cost-effective, long-distance electricity transmission.

June 16, 2009
Secretary Chu announces nearly $9 million in awards to support the next generation of American nuclear energy development. Under the Nuclear Energy Universities Program, DOE will provide $2.9 million in scholarships and fellowships to 86 U.S. nuclear science and engineering students, and will offer more than $6 million in grants to 29 U.S. universities and colleges in 23 states.

June 16, 2009
The Department announces the selection of seven cost-shared research projects for the development of advanced batteries for electric drive vehicles. The total DOE investment for the projects is up to $10.96 million over three years.

June 16, 2009
The White House releases a new report representing a consensus of 13 agencies developed over a year and half and entitled Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. The report summarizes the science and the impacts of climate change on the U.S., now and in the future. It focuses on climate change impacts in different regions of the U.S. and on various aspects of society and the economy such as energy, water, agriculture, and health.
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June 18, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is providing more than $453 million in Recovery Act funding to expand weatherization assistance programs in 15 additional states.

June 18, 2009
Secretary Chu discusses climate change in his Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Commencement Address.

June 18, 2009
President Obama extends for one year the national emergency with respect to the risk of nuclear proliferation created by the accumulation of weapons-usable fissile material in the territory of the Russian Federation. The national emergency was first declared by President Clinton on June 21, 2000, in Executive Order 13159.

June 19, 2009
The Department announces that Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy-nominee Warren Miller will also head the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. "Secretary Chu believes that as we move to restart civilian nuclear power in the United States, we should take an integrated approach to the nuclear fuel cycle," states a DOE spokesperson. "To that end, the Secretary plans to bring all of the Department's work on civilian nuclear issues under one manager."

June 22, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $32 million for Michigan and $16 million for Iowa in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Under DOE's State Energy Program, states have proposed statewide plans that prioritize energy savings, create or retain jobs, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

June 23, 2009
Secretary Chu and Minister Marcelo Tokman of the Chilean National Energy Commission sign a Memorandum of Cooperation to further collaboration between the two nations on a series of energy issues. The Memorandum establishes an institutional framework between Chile and the U.S. that will facilitate a broader range of cooperation and exchange activities, including U.S. technical expertise to support operations for Chile's new Renewable Energy Center.

June 23, 2009
Secretary Chu on the first day of Clean Energy Week announces, in remarks made at Ford's Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan, $8 billion in conditional loan commitments for the development of innovative, advanced vehicle technologies: 1) Ford Motor Company will receive $5.9 billion in loans through 2011 to help finance numerous engineering advances to traditional internal combustion engines and electrified vehicles. In addition, theses loans will help the company convert two truck plants to the production of cars. Ford will be raising the fuel efficiency of more than a dozen popular models. 2) Nissan will receive $1.6 billion to produce electric cars and battery packs at its manufacturing complex in Smyrna, Tennessee. The loan will aid in the construction of a new battery plant and modifications to the existing assembly facility. 3) Tesla Motors will receive $465 million that will also advance electric vehicles. The first part of the loan will finance a manufacturing facility for the Tesla Model S sedan. The second part of the loan will support a facility to manufacture battery packs and electric drive trains to be used in Teslas and in vehicles built by other automakers.

June 23, 2009
President Obama, prior to taking questions at his press conference, discusses the energy legislation being considered by the House.

June 23, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has awarded a $209 million contract to down-blend 12.1 metric tons (MT) of surplus U.S. highly enriched uranium (HEU) and store the resulting low-enriched uranium (LEU). The contract was awarded to a team consisting of WesDyne International, LLC (a division of Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC) and Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (a subsidiary of the Babcock and Wilcox Company). Under the agreement, 12.1 metric tons of HEU will be down-blended to about 220 metric tons of LEU at the Nuclear Fuel Services facility in Erwin, Tennessee. The resulting LEU will have a market value of more than $400 million. NNSA expects the down-blending to begin in 2009 and to be completed in 2012. The contractors performing the down-blending work will be compensated with a fraction of the LEU; the remainder of the LEU will be stored to support the mixed oxide (MOX) program for disposition of surplus weapons plutonium.

June 23, 2009
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar issues five first-ever exploratory leases for renewable wind energy production on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore New Jersey and Delaware. "We are entering a new day for energy production in the United States-a time of clean energy from renewable domestic sources on our Outer Continental Shelf," Secretary Salazar says. "Other nations have been using offshore wind energy for more than a decade. We made the development of offshore wind energy a top priority for Interior. The technology is proven, effective and available and can create new jobs for Americans while reducing our expensive and dangerous dependence on foreign oil."

June 24, 2009
President Obama signs into law the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009. Title XIII of the bill contains the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), popularly known as "Cash for Clunkers." This $3 billion program provides economic incentives for the purchase a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle when trading in a less fuel-efficient vehicle.

June 24, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $204 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in ten states.

June 24, 2009
The Department issues (pdf) a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant Decontamination and Decommissioning Project. The anticipated contract work scope has a projected funding range of $2.5 to $3.2 billion over a 10-year period of performance.

June 25, 2009
Secretary Chu, at the Edison Electric Institute Annual Convention in San Francisco, announces more than $154 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in four states.

June 25, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is soliciting applications for $3.9 billion in grants to support efforts to modernize the electric grid, allowing for greater integration of renewable energy sources while increasing the reliability, efficiency and security of the nation's transmission and distribution system. $3.3 billion of Recovery Act funding is for the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program in which DOE will provide cost-shared grants to support manufacturing, purchasing and installation of existing smart grid technologies that can be deployed on a commercial scale. $615 million is for smart grid demonstration projects that will help develop and implement smart grid technologies across the country.

June 25, 2009
President Obama, in remarks made in the Rose Garden on the energy bill, notes that the House "is moving towards a vote of historic proportions on a piece of legislation that will open the door to a new clean energy economy."

June 26, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $96 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in four states.

June 26, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is providing more than $304 million in Recovery Act funding to expand weatherization assistance programs in Georgia, Illinois and New York.

June 26, 2009
Secretary Chu speaks with employees at DOE's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and presents his vision for the nation's energy future.

June 26, 2009
President Obama extends for one year the national emergency with respect to the existence and risk of the proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula. The national emergency was first declared by President Bush on June 26, 2008, in Executive Order 13466.

June 26, 2009
President Obama issues a statement applauding House passage of H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

June 27, 2009
President Obama in his weekly address discusses House passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. "The nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy," the President notes, "will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy."

June 29, 2009
President Obama and Secretary Chu announce actions to promote energy efficiency and save American consumers billions of dollars per year. These include: 1) major changes to energy conservation standards, which take effect in 2012, for numerous household and commercial lamps and lighting equipment, and 2) $346 million investment of Recovery Act funding to expand and accelerate the development, deployment, and use of energy efficient technologies in all major types of commercial buildings as well as new and existing homes. "One of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to make our economy stronger and cleaner is to make our economy more energy efficient," states the President in his remarks. "I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses."

June 29, 2009
Secretary Chu makes opening remarks at the first U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue Roundtable at DOE Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The two-day public-private meeting brings together leaders from private industry to meet with U.S. and Canadian energy leaders to solicit industry input on the goals and activities of the U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue. Secretary Chu and Canadian Minister of Environment Jim Prentice serve as the lead government officials for moving the Clean Energy Dialogue forward.

June 29, 2009
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) announce that federal agencies will work with western leaders to designate tracts of U.S. public lands in the West as prime zones for utility-scale solar energy development, fund environmental studies, open new solar energy permitting offices, and speed reviews of industry proposals.

June 30, 2009
Secretary Chu announces up to $32 million in Recovery Act funding to modernize the existing hydropower infrastructure in the U.S., increase efficiency, and reduce environmental impact. The announcement is designed to support the deployment of turbines and control technologies to increase power generation and environmental stewardship at existing non-federal hydroelectric facilities.

June 30, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces the final shipments of Russian-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) nuclear fuel from Romania. The material was removed and returned to Russia by air for storage at two secure nuclear facilities. This was the first time NNSA has shipped "spent" HEU by airplane.

June 30, 2009
President Obama announces the launch of his Administration's Rural Tour. Over the course of the next few weeks and months, top Administration officials, including Cabinet secretaries, will fan out across the nation to hold a series of discussions on how communities, states, and the federal government can work together to help strengthen rural America. On July 18, Secretaries Chu and Tom Vilsack will travel to Ringgold, VA, to discuss green jobs and a new energy economy, with a focus on weatherization and carbon sequestration. On August 12, Secretaries Chu, Vilsack, Shaun Donovan, Arne Duncan, and Ken Salazar will travel to Bethel, AK, to discuss rural infrastructure, green jobs and a new energy economy, as well as climate change.

June 30, 2009
The Department announces (pdf) that the Hanford Site's only nuclear processing facility, the 242-A Evaporator, has completed a successful operating campaign that reduced the volume of waste in two double-shell storage tanks by more than 940,000 gallons, providing additional storage space for waste transferred from aging single-shell tanks.

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July 1, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that projects by Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Hydrogen Energy International LLC have been selected for up to $408 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The two projects selected-an existing power plant in North Dakota and a new facility in California-will incorporate advanced technologies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The selection of the two projects is part of the third round of the Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI).

July 1, 2009
The Department issues the final Environmental Assessment (pdf) on the disposition of DOE excess depleted, natural, and low-enriched uranium.

July 2, 2009
President Obama is interviewed by ITAR-TASS/Rossiya TV on Russia-U.S. relations, arms control and non-proliferation, the President's upcoming visit to Russia.

July 2, 2009
President Obama meets at the White House with, as he notes in remarks to the press afterwards, "CEOs of some of the most innovative energy companies in America to talk about growth and progress of a sector that represents a big piece of America's economic future." The CEOs discuss steps they have taken to increase productivity during a recession through innovation and technology.

July 2, 2009
Secretary Chu announces $59 million in conditional loan guarantees for Nordic Windpower, USA, and Beacon Power. Nordic Windpower has been offered $16 million to support the expansion of its assembly plant in Pocatello, Idaho, to produce its one megawatt wind turbine. Beacon Power, an energy storage company, has been offered $43 million to support the construction of its 20 megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York, that will help ensure the reliable delivery of renewable energy to the electricity grid. These are the second and third conditional commitments for loan guarantees made by the Obama administration. The loan guarantees will be supported through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

July 4, 2009
President Obama, in his weekly address highlights Independence Day and the American spirit and notes that "now is the time to meet our energy challenge-one of the greatest challenges we have ever confronted as a people or as a planet. For the sake of our economy and our children, we must build on the historic bill passed by the House of Representatives, and make clean energy the profitable kind of energy so that we can end our dependence on foreign oil and reclaim America's future."

July 6, 2009
President Obama meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow. The two leaders sign a Joint Understanding on negotiations for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) follow-on treaty that commits the U.S. and Russia to reduce their strategic warheads to a range of 1500-1675 and their strategic delivery vehicles to a range of 500-1100. Under START, which expires December 5, 2009, and the Moscow treaties the maximum allowable levels of warheads is 2200 and the maximum allowable level of launch vehicles is 1600. They also issue a Joint Statement confirming their "commitment to strengthening their cooperation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and stop acts of nuclear terrorism." The two leaders also agree to create a Bilateral Presidential Commission to provide better structure to the bilateral relationship. The Commission will have a number of Working Groups, including Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security, chaired by Sergei V. Kiriyenko, Head of Rosatom, and Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of Energy, and Energy and Environment, chaired by Sergei I. Shmatko, Minister of Energy, and Secretary Chu. The two leaders conclude their meeting with a press conference.

July 6, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is providing more than $288 million in Recovery Act funding to expand weatherization assistance programs in seven states.

July 6, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $153 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in seven states and territories.

July 6, 2009
The Department announces that Secretary Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to China from July 14 to 17. The two secretaries will highlight the potential for mutually beneficial relationships in the clean energy sector.

July 7, 2009
President Obama, in remarks at the New Economic School graduation in Moscow, discusses non-proliferation and arms control.

July 7, 2009
Secretary Chu testifies before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on moving toward a clean energy economy and reducing global warming pollution. Focusing on climate change, the Secretary observes that "overwhelming scientific evidence shows that carbon dioxide from human activity has increased the atmospheric level of CO2 by roughly 40 percent, a level one- third higher than any time in the last 800,000 years. There is also a consensus that CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions have caused our planet to change. Already, we have seen the loss of about half of the summer arctic polar ice cap since the 1950s, a dramatically accelerating rise in sea level, and the loss of over two thousand cubic miles of glacial ice, not on geological time scales but over a mere hundred years." The Secretary states that "denial of the climate change problem will not change our destiny; a comprehensive energy and climate bill that caps and then reduces carbon emissions will."

July 7, 2009
The Department's Sandia National Laboratories announces that four newly designed solar power collection dishes called SunCatchersT have been unveiled at Sandia's National Solar Thermal Test Facility. The new dishes are the next-generation model of the original SunCatcher system. Designed for high-volume production, ease of maintenance, and cost reductions, the dishes could be in commercial service by 2010.

July 8, 2009
President Obama and other leaders of the Group of 8 (G8) nations meet in L'Aquila, Italy pledge to confront climate change (pdf) and seek an ambitious global agreement at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. The G8 recognizes the broad scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels should not exceed 2° C and agrees to join a global response to achieve a 50 percent reduction in global emissions by 2050, and to a goal of an aggregate 80 percent or more reduction by developed countries by that date. The G8 also issues a Statement on Non-proliferation (pdf), and President Obama announces his plan to host a Global Nuclear Security Summit in March 2010.

July 9, 2009
The Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate meeting in L'Aquila, Italy, following the G8 meeting, issues a declaration on climate change. "As leaders of the world's major economies, both developed and developing," the heads of state present at the forum declare, "we intend to respond vigorously to this challenge, being convinced that climate change poses a clear danger requiring an extraordinary global response, that the response should respect the priority of economic and social development of developing countries, that moving to a low-carbon economy is an opportunity to promote continued economic growth and sustainable development, that the need for and deployment of transformational clean energy technologies at lowest possible cost are urgent, and that the response must involve balanced attention to mitigation and adaptation." The forum leaders state that they recognize that "the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed 2 degrees C" and that they "will work between now and Copenhagen, with each other and under the Convention, to identify a global goal for substantially reducing global emissions by 2050." President Obama comments on the declaration following the meeting, and the White House issues a fact sheet.

July 9, 2009
The Department of the Treasury and DOE announce the availability of an estimated $3 billion for the development of renewable energy projects around the country and made available the guidance businesses will need to submit a successful application. Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the program will provide direct payments in lieu of tax credits in support of an estimated 5,000 bio-mass, solar, wind, and other types of renewable energy production facilities.

July 10, 2009
President Obama holds a press conference at L'Aquila, Italy, and discusses the results of the G8 and Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate meetings.

July 10, 2009
Deputy Director for DOE's ARPA-E Shane Kosinski tells DOE's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee that his office has received about 3,500 "concept papers" seeking funding. He adds that ARPA-E expected about 800 submissions.

July 10, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is providing more than $448 million in Recovery Act funding to expand weatherization assistance programs in thirteen states.

July 10, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $141 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in six states and territories.

July 13, 2009
The Department announces a collaborative project with Research Triangle Institute International to design, build, and test a warm gas cleanup system to remove multiple contaminants from coal-derived syngas. The 50-MWe system will include technologies to remove trace elements such as mercury and arsenic, capture the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), and extract more than 99.9 percent of the sulfur from the syngas. A novel process to convert the extracted sulfur to a pure elemental sulfur product will also be tested.

July 14, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the availability of nearly $300 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for state-run rebate programs for consumer purchases of new ENERGY STAR® qualified home appliances. The new funding will be awarded to states and territories, through their energy offices, using a formula set forth in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Each state or territory is required to submit a plan that specifies which ENERGY STAR® appliance categories will be included in their rebate program, the rebate level for each product type, how the rebates will be processed, and their plan for recycling old appliances.

July 14, 2009
The Department issues a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Record of Decision to move forward with the FutureGen Project in Mattoon, Illinois, the first commercial scale, fully integrated, carbon capture and sequestration project in the country. The Record of Decision and a cooperative agreement signed by DOE and the FutureGen Alliance allow the Alliance to proceed with site-specific activities for the project. Over the next eight to ten months, the Alliance will complete a preliminary design, refine its cost estimate, develop a funding plan, expand the sponsorship group, and, if needed, conduct additional subsurface characterization.

July 14, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that Shaw AREVA MOX Services, LLC (MOX Services) and the Tennessee Valley Authority have signed a letter of intent to enter into contract negotiations for the irradiation of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. MOX Services is NNSA's contractor to build and operate the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, which currently is under construction at the Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina. The MOX fuel will be fabricated from surplus weapon-grade plutonium at the facility.

July 15, 2009
Secretary Chu, on the first two days of his four-day trip to China, meets with a series of Chinese officials and discusses energy issues. The Secretary also delivers a major address to an audience of top scientists, faculty and students at Tsinghua University focusing on the growing threat China and the U.S. face from climate change, from extreme heat waves to declining rice and agricultural production to flooding of major urban areas in coastal regions. The Secretary stresses that dealing with climate change presents opportunities as well as challenges, including the opportunity to create millions of jobs in the clean energy sector. He outlines a number of solutions that the two countries are working to address, such as developing more efficient batteries, lower cost photovoltaics, and commercial scale carbon capture and sequestration technologies. "What the U.S. and what China does in the coming decades will actually, in large part, determine the fate of the world," Secretary Chu tells the students and faculty. "So it is very important that we in the U.S. move very aggressively towards decreasing the amount of carbon in the world, and I sincerely hope that China follows soon after."

July 15, 2009
In Beijing, China, Secretary Chu, Chinese Minister of Science Wan Gang, and Administrator of National Energy Administration Zhang Guo Bao announce plans to develop a U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center. The Center would facilitate joint research and development on clean energy by teams of scientists and engineers from the U.S. and China, as well as serve as a clearinghouse to help researchers in each country. Priority topics to be addressed will initially include building energy efficiency, clean coal including carbon capture and storage, and clean vehicles. The U.S. and China together pledged $15 million to support initial activities. The Center will have one headquarters in each country, at locations to be determined.

July 15, 2009
Secretary Chu announces plans to provide up to $22 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support the planning and installation of utility-scale community renewable energy projects in up to four communities nationwide. DOE will provide technical assistance to selected recipients, including concepts, best practices, planning, financial approaches, policy guidance, and recognition to help communities rapidly plan and deploy utility-scale renewable energy systems that provide clean, reliable and affordable energy supplies for their communities, while creating jobs and new economic development opportunities. The projects will demonstrate how multiple renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, biomass and geothermal systems, can be deployed at scale to supply clean energy to communities.

July 15, 2009
The Department announces plans to provide up to $52.5 million to research, develop, and demonstrate Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems capable of providing low-cost electrical power both day and night. CSP technologies concentrate the sun's energy and capture that energy as heat, which then drives an engine or turbine to produce electrical power. CSP plants can include low-cost energy storage, which allows them to provide electricity even when the sun is not shining. CSP technologies currently used in utility-scale power plants typically do not have the capability/capacity for storage, operating only during daytime hours. These projects will seek to improve technology and novel system designs to extend operation to an average of about 18 hours per day, a level of production that would make it possible for a CSP plant to displace a traditional coal power plant.

July 15, 2009
Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), testifies before the House Armed Services Committee on the Obama administration's global nuclear threat reduction initiatives and NNSA's role in implementing the President's landmark nuclear security agenda during a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

July 16, 2009
Secretary Chu, on the third day of his four-day trip to China, discusses with Chinese officials carbon capture and sequestration and China's power transmission infrastructure. Secretary Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke also meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. "I've come away with a sense that China is committed to reducing its energy intensity, reducing its growth in use of energy, and in reducing its carbon footprint, as is the US," Secretary Chu says at a press conference after meeting with Wen Jiabao.

July 16, 2009
Secretary Chu, after touring in Beijing the "America House," a U.S. designed demonstration of cutting edge "zero energy" building technology, announces a new agreement between DOE and the Chinese Ministry of Urban-Rural Development to foster collaboration and partnership in the development of improved, more efficient building designs as well as sustainable communities that rely on greater use of renewable energy.

July 16, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the selection of 28 new wind energy projects for up to $13.8 million in funding-including $12.8 million in Recovery Act funds. The projects will help address market and deployment challenges including wind turbine research and testing and transmission analysis, planning, assessments. The Secretary also announces the release of DOE's 2008 Wind Technologies Market Report (pdf), detailing $16 billion in investment in wind projects made in the U.S. in 2008-making the U.S. the leader in annual wind energy capacity growth, as well as cumulative wind energy capacity.

July 16, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that a team led by Baker Concrete Construction, Inc., of Monroe, Ohio, has been awarded a $91.5 million contract for the construction of NNSA's Waste Solidification Building (WSB) at the Savannah River Site, near Aiken, South Carolina. The WSB will process waste streams from NNSA's plutonium disposition efforts at SRS-principally wastes from the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility and from weapons pit disassembly operations-by converting them to a cementitious material for offsite disposal.

July 16, 2009
The National Academy of Public Administration issues a report calling for the revitalization and integration of three of DOE's "mission-support functions"-human resources, contracting, and financial management.

July 17, 2009
Secretary Chu, on the last day of his four-day trip to China, visits the headquarters of ENN-an innovative and integrated 'new energy' company-in Langfang, Hebei Province. The Secretary also delivers remarks at Tianjin University, where his grandfather was Dean and President, and discusses the importance of technological cooperation and co-development in addressing the global climate change challenge and furthering economic recovery in both the U.S. and China.

July 17, 2009
The Department issues a statement applauding the British government's new report on advancing the global nuclear security agenda. The report, The Road to 2010 - Addressing the Nuclear Question in the Twenty First Century (pdf), outlines a strategy for addressing the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons ahead of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

July 17, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that up to $85 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be awarded in early 2010 to support at least 50 early career researchers for five years at U.S. academic institutions and DOE national laboratories.

July 20, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $162 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in seven states and territories.

July 20, 2009
Secretary Chu announces delivery of more than $47 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for eight projects to further smart grid demonstration projects in seven states. The Secretary also announces $10.5 million in Recovery Act funding available for local governments to develop emergency preparedness plans for their electrical systems.

July 20, 2009
The Department's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory announces the beginning of cleanup and demolition of the former Radioisotope Development Laboratory, a long-vacant facility on the Laboratory's central campus. The project will use $10.6 million of the $755 million in funds allocated to the Oak Ridge Office under the Recovery Act.

July 21, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is providing more than $63 million in Recovery Act funding to expand weatherization assistance programs in Indiana and New Mexico.

July 21, 2009
Acting Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman testifies (pdf) before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cyber Security and Science and Technology of the House Committee on Homeland Security on electric sector vulnerabilities and cyber security issues.

July 21, 2009
The Department issues (pdf) a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for a sales agreement to sell approximately 15,300 tons of radiologically-contaminated nickel scrap recovered from uranium enrichment process equipment at DOE's Paducah and Oak Ridge facilities. The proposed action described in the draft RFP would allow private industry to use the nickel in DOE-controlled facilities, Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed facilities, or other regulated facilities to make high-quality products for use only in radiologically-controlled government or commercial applications.

July 21, 2009
Secretary Chu appears on the Daily Show.

July 22, 2009
An opinion piece by Secretary Chu on the energy and climate bill currently being considered by Congress appears in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Three other Cabinet officers also publish opinion pieces in regional newspapers.

July 22, 2009
Secretary Chu and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announce the joint selection of awards of up to $6.3 million towards fundamental genomics-enabled research leading to the improved use of plant feedstocks for biofuel production. The grants will be awarded under a joint DOE-USDA program begun in 2006 that is committed to fundamental research in biomass genomics, providing the scientific foundation to facilitate use of lignocellulosic materials for bioenergy and biofuels.

July 23, 2009
The Department issues a subpoena to AeroSys, Inc., to obtain data necessary to determine whether certain AeroSys commercial air conditioners and heat pumps comply with relevant DOE energy efficiency standards. The subpoena seeks detailed information about how AeroSys certified its compliance with applicable DOE standards and how it marketed its products.

July 23, 2009
The Department breaks ground (pdf) on an $80 million treatment system for contaminated groundwater at DOE's Hanford Site. The facility is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

July 24, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE-funded researchers have won 46 of the 100 awards given out this year by R&D Magazine for the most outstanding technology developments with promising commercial potential. The coveted awards are presented annually in recognition of exceptional new products, processes, materials or software developed throughout the world and introduced into the market the previous year.

July 27, 2009
President Obama, in opening remarks at the Strategic Economic Dialogue between the United States and China in Washington, D.C., notes that a partnership between the two nations is "a prerequisite for progress on many of the most pressing global challenges." Two of the four challenges the President discusses are energy and non-proliferation. On energy, the President notes that the U.S. and China "are the two largest consumers of energy in the world. We are also the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. Let's be frank: Neither of us profits from a growing dependence on foreign oil, nor can we spare our people from the ravages of climate change unless we cooperate. Common sense calls upon us to act in concert." On non-proliferation, the President observes that "the more nations acquire these weapons, the more likely it is that they will be used. Neither America nor China has an interest in a terrorist acquiring a bomb, or a nuclear arms race breaking out in East Asia. That is why we must continue our collaboration to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and make it clear to North Korea that the path to security and respect can be traveled if they meet their obligations. And that is why we must also be united in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and urging the Islamic Republic to live up to its international obligations."

July 27, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $54 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in four states.

July 28, 2009
The Department announces that it will further expand and accelerate cleanup efforts of cold-war era contamination at the Portsmouth site in Piketon, Ohio-an investment worth about $150 to $200 million per year for the next four years that is expected to create 800 to 1000 new jobs. At the same time, DOE has encouraged USEC to withdraw its application for loan guarantee funding for the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) in Piketon. This would allow USEC to work over the next 12-18 months to continue research, development, and testing to resolve the technology issues facing ACP without hurting the chances of USEC to secure approval for a loan guarantee in the future. "We are shocked and disappointed by DOE's decision," says USEC's President and Chief Executive Officer John K. Welch.

July 28, 2009
The U.S. and China, following talks at the bilateral Strategic Economic Dialogue, sign a Memorandum of Understanding to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment. "Consistent with equity and their common but differentiated responsibilities, and respective capabilities," the two nations note that "they have a very important role in combating climate change."

July 29, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the investment of up to $11.8 million, with $5 million coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, for five projects designed to advance the next stage of development of solar energy grid integration systems (SEGIS). The selected projects focus on the most promising technology advances and include development of intelligent system controls. The projects ultimately seek to maintain or improve power quality and reliability.

July 29, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE will provide up to $30 billion in loan guarantees, depending on the applications and market conditions, for renewable energy projects. Another $750 million will support several billion dollars more in loan guarantees for projects that increase the reliability, efficiency and security of the nation's transmission system. The two new loan guarantee solicitations are being funded partly through the Recovery Act and partly through 2009 appropriations.

July 29, 2009
Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in remarks at the U.S. Strategic Command Symposium, discusses the future of the nuclear security enterprise and its strategic deterrence mission in light of President Obama's nuclear security agenda.

July 31, 2009
The Department of the Treasury and DOE announce they are now accepting applications for a program, unveiled on July 9, which will make direct payments in lieu of tax credits to companies that create and place in service renewable energy facilities. The two departments estimate distributing at least $3 billion in financial support to approximately 5,000 bio-mass, solar, wind, and other types of renewable energy production facilities. The funding for this effort is made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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August 4, 2009
Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, DOE Under Secretary Kristina Johnson, and members of Green the Block hold a press conference outside the West Wing offices of the White House to discuss opportunities in the new green economy. Green the Block is a partnership between Green for All and the Hip Hop Caucus to educate and mobilize low-income, traditionally under-served communities to ensure they have the resources and platforms needed to access the benefits and opportunities of the growing clean energy economy.

August 4, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that more than $327 million in new funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will go toward scientific research, instrumentation, and laboratory infrastructure projects. Ten of DOE's national laboratories in six states will be receiving funds, along with researchers at institutions of higher learning across the nation.

August 4, 2009
The Department announces that an analysis (pdf) by its Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirms findings by earlier reports from the Congressional Budget Office and the Environmental Protection Agency that H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, energy and climate legislation passed by the House June 26, will cost Americans roughly the same as a postage stamp a day. The EIA analysis projects an increased annual cost of about $83 (adjusted for inflation) by 2030-or roughly 23 cents a day.

August 4, 2009
The Department and USEC Inc. announce an agreement to delay a final review on the company's loan guarantee application for the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio. DOE plans to defer review of the application until a series of specific technology and financial milestones have been met. DOE and USEC also expect an independent engineer to complete a report in the near term that will provide useful input and guidance on the technical issues already identified. The additional time will allow USEC to make efforts to fully address issues DOE has identified relating to the readiness of the company's uranium enrichment technology.

August 5, 2009
President Obama, in a speech at the Monaco Coach manufacturing facilities in Elkhart County, Indiana, announces 48 new advanced battery and electric drive projects that will receive $2.4 billion in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The projects will accelerate the development of U.S. manufacturing capacity for batteries and electric drive components as well as the deployment of electric drive vehicles. The announcement marks the single largest investment in advanced battery technology for hybrid and electric-drive vehicles ever made. Industry officials expect that this $2.4 billion investment, coupled with another $2.4 billion in cost share from the award winners, will result directly in the creation tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. battery and auto industries. At the same time, Secretary Chu, in a speech at the Celgard facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, announces that Celgard is one of the 48 selected projects. A $49 million grant will allow the company to expand its separator production capacity to serve the expected increased demand for lithium-ion batteries. Vice President Biden and three other Members of the Cabinet also fan out across the country to discuss the announcement. The Vice President is in Detroit to announce over $1 billion in grants to companies and universities based in Michigan.

August 5, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration announces the first step toward the creation of the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC), a joint venture between Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that will promote greater collaboration between the world-class scientists at the nuclear security labs and their partners in industry and academia. The LVOC will create a shared space between the two adjacent labs.

August 6, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the delivery of $377 million in funding for 46 new multi-million-dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) located at universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and private firms across the nation. Of the $377 million awarded to the EFRCs, $277 million comes from funding made available through the Recovery Act with the remaining $100 million made from DOE's FY 2009 budget. The 46 EFRCs are being funded at $2-5 million per year each for a planned initial five-year period. EFRC researchers will take advantage of new capabilities in nanotechnology, high-intensity light sources, neutron scattering sources, supercomputing, and other advanced instrumentation, much of it developed with DOE Office of Science support over the past decade, in an effort to lay the scientific groundwork for fundamental advances in solar energy, biofuels, transportation, energy efficiency, electricity storage and transmission, clean coal and carbon capture and sequestration, and nuclear energy.

August 6, 2009
President Obama issues a statement on the Senate passage of an extension of the Cash for Clunkers program. The President signs the bill the following day. The $2 billion for funding the extension is transferred from DOE's $6 billion renewable-energy loan guarantee program established by the Recovery Act.

August 6, 2009
Secretary Chu, in a speech at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, states that the energy and climate change legislation currently before Congress is a "comprehensive bill that paves the way for increased energy efficiency, and sends the right signals to industry that says 'we're serious. There is going to be a cap on carbon. . . . You have time to make those adjustments. But let's get moving." Addressing concerns that the bill does not go far enough quickly enough in combating the carbon emissions problem, the Secretary says that "you want as strong a bill as possible, but you want a bill . . . so the real issue is getting going."

August 10, 2009
President Obama meets with Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the two-day North American Leaders Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico. Energy and climate change issues are discussed. A Declaration on Climate Change and Clean Energy is released and a number of "deliverables" announced. A joint press conference is held following the summit.

August 10, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the start by DOE's Bonneville Power Administration of the McNary-John Day transmission project in Washington and Oregon, which will be funded by $343 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project is expected to create between 100 and 200 construction jobs at its peak and, once energized in early 2012, the new line will provide firm transmission service for more than 575 megawatts of wind energy.

August 10, 2009
The Department announces more than $20 million in high-end technical assistance to fifteen federal agencies to help ensure the widest possible implementation of leading edge energy efficiency technologies across the federal government. DOE's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) will make available the technical expertise from DOE's National Laboratories for such projects as cool roofs, greenhouse gas reductions, renewable energy, smart grids, zero energy homes, sustainable buildings, and energy and water retrofits.

August 10, 2009
The Department announces that Ramgen Power Systems LLC, Bellevue, Washington, has been awarded $20 million in funding from the Recovery Act to scale up a device that uses supersonic shockwaves to compress carbon dioxide (CO2) for capture and storage.

August 11, 2009
Secretary Chu joins with Washington and Oregon state officials and other federal officials in announcing a proposed legal settlement that will impose a new, enforceable and achievable schedule for tank waste cleanup at the Hanford Site. A proposed consent decree between DOE and Washington State will set a new and achievable schedule for construction and startup of the Waste Treatment Plant and the retrieval of waste from the large underground single-shell storage tanks at Hanford. In tandem with the consent decree, DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Washington State Department of Ecology are proposing changes to their 1989 Tri-Party Agreement to establish a new, realistic but aggressive schedule for completing waste retrieval from all single-shell storage tanks by 2040, and treating all of the tank waste by 2047. In addition, DOE and the State of Oregon have agreed upon a consent decree that recognizes Oregon's strong interest in the cleanup effort.

August 12, 2009
Secretary Chu announces nearly $38 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve state emergency preparedness plans and ensure quick recovery and restoration from any energy supply disruptions. Funds will be used by state governments to hire or retrain staff and expand state-level capacities to address challenges to the country's energy systems, including emergency situations such as blackouts, hurricanes, ice storms, and disruptions to heating supplies.

August 13, 2009
Secretary Chu and three other Cabinet secretaries, as part of the Obama administration's Rural Tour visit the towns of Bethel and Hooper Bay in western Alaska. The secretaries hold a public forum and indivdual stakeholder meetings in Bethel and tour a school, a housing development, and wind turbines in Hooper Bay.

August 13, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is providing more than $66 million in Recovery Act funding to expand weatherization assistance programs in four states.

August 13, 2009
The Department of the Treasury and DOE announce a program to award $2.3 billion in tax credits for manufacturers of advanced energy equipment. Authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this new program will provide tax credits to manufacturers who produce clean energy equipment. Treasury is authorized to provide developers with an investment tax credit of 30 percent for facilities that manufacture particular types of energy equipment. Qualifying manufactures will produce solar, wind, and geothermal energy equipment; fuel cells, microturbines, and batteries; electric cars; electric grids to support the transmission of renewable energy; energy conservation technologies; and equipment that captures and sequesters carbon dioxide or reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

August 13, 2009
Secretary Chu announces up to $13.6 million in multi-year funding for new clean energy projects on tribal lands. Thirty-six Native American tribes and Alaska villages have been selected to receive awards. DOE will provide financial assistance for weatherization training, feasibility studies, and development and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. The DOE funding is expected to be matched by up to $27 million in public and private investment, for a total value of up to $41 million.

August 14, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $119 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in seven states and territories.

August 14, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has awarded more than $20 million in grants to 28 researchers in 13 states. The awards, which are for three years, were made through NNSA's Stewardship Science Academic Alliances program and the program in High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas, a joint program with grants funded by NNSA and the DOE Office of Science.

August 18, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces a recently conducted successful test, done in cooperation with the Air Force, of a Joint Test Assembly (JTA) for the W80 warhead. A JTA is a set of sensors and hardware used during flight tests to ensure that weapons perform as designed. The purpose of the test was to evaluate overall performance of the nuclear cruise missile weapon system. The JTAs are built to simulate the actual weapon configuration and use as much war reserve hardware as feasible. The W80 JTA was on board a B52-H and launched on an Air Launched Cruise Missile at the Utah Test and Training Range.

August 19, 2009
The Department announces that the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has selected nine new projects targeting environmental tools and technology for shale gas and coalbed methane (CBM) production. NETL's goals for these projects are to improve management of water resources, water usage, and water disposal, and to support science that will aid the regulatory and permitting processes required for shale gas development. The total proposed value for the projects is $10.2 million, with DOE's share at $6.9 million.

August 20, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that $37 million in funding from the Recovery Act will be made available to qualified small businesses in areas related to improving energy efficiency through DOE's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. DOE's SBIR/STTR programs target U.S. companies with fewer than 500 employees.

August 20, 2009
The State Department approves a permit for a pipeline that will carry crude oil from oil-sands fields in Alberta, Canada, to a terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.

August 21, 2009
The Department's Office of Electricity and Energy Reliability announces that it will provide $4.3 million for four projects that will use innovative synchrophasor research to improve the reliability and efficiency of the nation's electricity grid. Synchrophasors are high-speed, real-time synchronized measurement devices used to diagnose the health of the electricity grid. With synchrophasor data, electric utilities can use existing power more efficiently and push more power through the grid while reducing the likelihood of power disruptions like blackouts.

August 24, 2009
The Department announces the selection of 19 projects to enhance the capability to simulate, track, and evaluate the potential risks of carbon dioxide (CO2) storage in geologic formations.
The projects' total value is approximately $35.8 million over four years, with $27.6 million of DOE funding and $8.2 million of non-Federal cost sharing.

August 24, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the investment of up to $6.4 million, including $4.6 million from the Recovery Act, for four projects designed to advance research and development of next generation high-efficiency lighting.

August 25, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $51 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Alaska, Guam, and New Jersey.

August 25, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is providing more than $101 million in Recovery Act funding to expand weatherization assistance programs in Guam and Pennsylvania.

August 25, 2009
The Department announces the selection of seven projects to develop sensors and controls to support the full-scale implementation and operation of highly efficient power generation technologies with near-zero emissions. The total award value of the projects is nearly $7 million, which includes $1.4 million in cost-sharing from the recipients.

August 25, 2009
The Department's Sandia National Laboratories announces that it is developing a smaller scale, economically efficient nuclear reactor that could be mass-assembled in factories and supply power for a medium-size city or military base. The proliferation-resistant "right-sized reactor" incorporates intrinsic safeguards, security, and safety and opens the way for possible exportation to developing countries that do not have the infrastructure to support large power sources. With approximately 85 percent of the design efforts completed for the reactor core, Sandia is seeking an industry partner through a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA).

August 26, 2009
Secretary Chu, accompanied by Vice President Biden in the auditorium of DOE's Forrestal headquarters building, announces the selection of 25 cost-share projects under the Clean Cities program that will be funded with nearly $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The projects will support a combined total of more than 9,000 light, medium and heavy-duty alternative fuel and energy efficient vehicles and establish 542 refueling locations across the country. The vehicles and infrastructure being funded include the use of natural and renewable gas, propane, ethanol, biodiesel, electricity, and hybrid technologies. Every federal dollar spent will be matched by nearly two dollars from the project partners.

August 26, 2009
The Department issues a Federal Register Notice (FRN) (pdf) on plans to award the H-Prize for breakthrough advances in materials for hydrogen storage. A single amount of $1 million will be awarded for the development of an on-board hydrogen storage material that meets or exceeds a set of performance targets specified in the competition announcement.

August 27, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $8.4 million in funding to develop seven regional sequestration technology training projects. The projects will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technologies required for site development, operations, and monitoring of commercial carbon capture and storage projects.

August 27, 2009
The Department announces the selection of national laboratory-led projects for up to $11 million under DOE's competitive laboratory solicitation for the development of Advanced Water Power Technologies. These projects will advance the science needed to accelerate the commercial viability, market acceptance, and environmental performance for both new marine and hydrokinetic technologies as well as technologies and methods to improve on the performance of conventional hydropower facilities.

August 31, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that up to $21 million will be made available for five projects that will develop supply systems to handle and deliver high tonnage biomass feedstocks for cellulosic biofuels production. The five were selected as the best projects to stimulate the design and demonstration of a comprehensive system to handle the harvesting, collection, preprocessing, transport, and storage of sufficient volumes of sustainably produced feedstocks. Feedstocks or combinations of feedstocks that were considered include: agricultural residues, energy crops (e.g., switchgrass, miscanthus, energycane, sorghum, poplar, willow), forest resources (e.g., forest thinnings, wood chips, wood wastes, small diameter trees), and urban wood wastes.

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September 1, 2009
Secretary Chu and Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner announce $502 million in the first round of awards from an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program that provides cash assistance to energy production companies in place of earned tax credits. The new funding creates additional upfront capital, enabling companies to create jobs and begin construction that may have been stalled until now. The program is expected to provide more than $3 billion in financial support for clean energy projects, including an estimated 5,000 bio-mass, solar, wind, and other types of renewable energy production facilities.

September 1, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE has completed minimum energy efficiency standards for beverage vending machines. This is the first time DOE is regulating energy consumption for the approximately 2.3 million beverage vending machines in use in the U.S. The final rule will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 9.6 million metric tons from 2012 through 2042-roughly equivalent to removing over 2 million automobiles from the road for a year-and will save commercial customers of the machines between $38 and $52 million per year over the same time period. The efficiency standards, which take effect in 2012, apply to both glass-front type and solid-front type beverage vending machines that are commonly found in office buildings, schools, colleges, retail sites, and manufacturing facilities.

September 1, 2009
The National Research Council, in a congressionally mandated report sponsored by DOE, finds that increasing population and employment density in metropolitan areas could reduce vehicle travel, energy use, and CO2 emissions by up to 11 percent by 2050 compared to a base case for household vehicle usage.

September 3, 2009
President Obama announces that Thomas D'Agostino, DOE's Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator for DOE's Nuclear Security of the National Nuclear Security Administration, will continue serving in his current role.

September 3, 2009
Vice President Biden, in remarks at the Brookings Institution on the 200 days of the Recovery Act, notes the need for a "radically altered energy policy" in the 21st century. "What is the leveraging effect of what we are doing?" the Vice President asks in reference to the stimulus bill. "That will remain to be seen. But I believe it will be consequential. This will be energy that's clean, renewable, and doesn't pollute, and begins to wean us off the incredible dependence on foreign oil."

September 4, 2009
Vice President Biden, appearing via satellite from Washington D.C., with Secretary Chu and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on-site in Fremont, California, announces that DOE has finalized a $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, Inc., which manufactures innovative cylindrical solar photovoltaic panels that provide clean, renewable energy. The funding will finance construction of the first phase of the company's new manufacturing facility. Annual production of solar panels from the first phase is expected to provide energy equivalent to powering 24,000 homes a year or over half a million homes over the project's lifetime. Solyndra is the first recipient of a loan guarantee under the Recovery Act and Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In addition, the loan guarantee issued to Solyndra is the first issued by DOE since the 1980s. The Secretary and Governor Schwarzenegger assist at the ground breaking for the new facility.

September 9, 2009
Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman tours the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) emergency operations facility at Andrews Air Force Base to receive a demonstration of NNSA's nuclear and radiological incident response capabilities and thank the team for the efforts to combat nuclear terrorism.

September 9, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) announces an Energy and Financial Markets Initiative to improve understanding and analysis of what drives energy prices. EIA has formed an Energy and Financial Markets Analysis Team to supplement EIA's strength in fundamentals analysis and serve as the focal point for activities under the Initiative. Actions are already planned in four main areas: 1) Collection of critical information on factors affecting energy prices; 2) Analysis through in-depth studies of energy market behavior; 3) Outreach to solicit feedback from a broad range of experts on the interrelationship of energy and financial markets; and 4) Coordination with other federal agencies engaged in energy market information collection and analysis.

September 10, 2009
The Department and Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm join with over 300 industry, state, and federal leaders to recognize industrial efficiency leaders and plot a course to accelerate industrial energy efficiency at the two-day Midwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Exchange. Governor Granholm and DOE announce 11 Save Energy Now awards recognizing industry leaders for their exemplary energy saving accomplishments. As part of the Save Energy Now program, DOE works with private companies to improve their energy efficiency and demonstrate profitable business models that will expand markets for new energy technologies.

September 10, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that the Kansas City Plant has powered down its last legacy IBM mainframe computing system, officially marking the transition to a 21st century Weapons Information System that can easily manage the inventory and finances of the nuclear weapons stockpile. NNSA replaced the legacy mainframe with a set of modern Sun Microsystems servers that will be cheaper, faster, more energy efficient and easier to maintain while increasing the reliability of the system.

September 10, 2009
Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in a White House briefing on the national security implications of global climate change, highlights the role of key NNSA assets in addressing global climate change, including advanced supercomputers being used to model climate change, the development of new technologies that are improving wind turbines, and the potential for the National Ignition Facility to promote advances in fusion energy.

September 10, 2009
The Department announces (pdf) that workers have finished excavating the K East Basin at the Hanford Site. The 1.2-million-gallon basin once held 1,100 tons of uranium metal fuel rods, known as spent nuclear fuel, leftover from Hanford reactors after plutonium processing ended, as well as sludge, a byproduct of fuel corrosion during years of storage.

September 11, 2009
The U.S. and Poland sign an agreement that provides a legal framework for the activities of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in the Republic of Poland. These activities include the return to the Russian Federation of nuclear fuel from the MARIA and EWA research reactors in Otwock-Swierk that was supplied by the Soviet Union or the Russian Federation.

September 11, 2009
Secretary Chu issues a statement on the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

September 14, 2009
Secretary Chu, in a speech before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference in Vienna, Austria, discusses "four areas in which the world needs the IAEA's continued leadership": 1) providing a new framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation, 2) strengthening international safeguards, 3) moving toward a world without nuclear weapons, and 4) preventing nuclear terrorism.

September 14, 2009
Secretary Chu and South African Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters sign a bilateral Agreement on Cooperation in Research and Development of Nuclear Energy in Vienna. This agreement will facilitate cooperation in the areas of advanced nuclear energy systems and reactor technology. The two countries will collaborate in research and development of advanced technologies for improving the cost, safety, and proliferation-resistance of nuclear power systems. The agreement will also expand efforts to promote and maintain nuclear science and engineering infrastructure and expertise in each country.

September 14, 2009
Secretary Chu announces a new $450 million program designed to catalyze a nationwide energy upgrade that experts estimate could save $100 million annually in utility bills for households and businesses. The Recovery Act's "Retrofit Ramp-Up" program will pioneer innovative models for rolling out energy efficiency to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in a variety of communities. Much like past roll-outs for cable TV or the Internet, DOE intends to create models that, when undertaken nationally, will save consumers billions of dollars on their utility bills and make the huge savings of energy efficiency available to everyone.

September 14, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $354 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and conservation activities in 22 states. Under DOE's Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, these states will implement programs that lower energy use, reduce carbon pollution, and create green jobs locally.

September 14, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is providing more than $60 million in Recovery Act funding to expand weatherization assistance programs in six states and territories.

September 15, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) signs agreements with the Kingdom of Morocco and Iceland to cooperate to improve efforts to counter nuclear and radiological terrorism and promote international nuclear and environmental safety and security.

September 15, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that 22 advanced water power projects will receive up to $14.6 million in funding to advance the commercial viability, market acceptance, and environmental performance for new marine and hydrokinetic technologies as well as conventional hydropower plants. The Secretary also announces an award of more than $1.3 million to Ocean Renewable Power Company in Portland, Maine, to improve the efficiency, flexibility, and environmental performance of hydroelectric energy.

September 15, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that, in cooperation with KFKI Atomic Energy Research Institute, it has successfully converted the Budapest Research Reactor (BRR) from the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. The BRR conversion followed the successful removal of 18 kilograms of Russian-origin HEU fresh fuel from the Budapest Research Reactor in cooperation with NNSA.

September 15, 2009
The Department announces that Arizona Public Service (APS), Phoenix, Arizona, has been awarded $70.5 million in Recovery Act funding to expand an existing industrial and innovative reuse carbon mitigation project. Arizona Public Service's ongoing algae-based carbon mitigation project will be expanded to include testing with a coal-based gasification system. The process aims to minimize production of carbon dioxide when gasifying coal.

September 16, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $62 million in Recovery Act funding that will boost carbon capture and storage research and development. DOE is awarding $49.75 million to 11 projects to conduct site characterization studies of promising geologic formations for carbon dioxide storage. DOE is awarding $12.7 million for 43 geologic sequestration training and research projects.

September 16, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE's Western Area Power Administration will use borrowing authority under the Recovery Act to help build the $213 million Montana-Alberta Tie Limited (MATL) transmission project between Great Falls, Montana, and Lethbridge, Alberta. Almost two-thirds of the 214-mile transmission line will be located on U.S. soil. The MATL project will be funded through a public-private partnership between the Western Area Power Administration and Tonbridge Power Inc., with up to $161 million of the total project costs funded through Western's Recovery Act borrowing authority.

September 16, 2009
President Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada meet in Washington and discuss energy and other issues. They review progress to date on the U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue and agree that the report (pdf) to leaders presented by Secretary Chu and Canadian Minister of the Environment Jim Prentice represents an important path forward for pursuing shared objectives of environmental protection and secure energy supply in a balanced and effective manner. Secretary Chu and Minister Prentice also release an Action Plan (pdf) for the Clean Energy Dialogue, which describes specific initiatives the U.S. and Canada have agreed to undertake as areas for enhanced cooperation: carbon capture and storage; clean energy research and development in biofuels, clean engines, energy efficiency; and the electricity grid and smart grid development. President Obama and Prime Minister Harper hold a Joint Press Availability.

September 16, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the DOE Office of Science announce that 23 research grants totaling $9.9 million have been awarded as part of the High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas program.

September 16, 2009
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announces he is reforming and restructuring the Department's management of U.S. energy resources, starting with the termination of the Minerals Management Service's controversial Royalty in Kind program that accepts oil and natural gas from producers in lieu of cash royalties.

September 17, 2009
Secretary Chu, at a Clean Energy Economy Forum with Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell in Bensalem, announces that DOE is awarding more than $36 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and conservation projects in communities across Pennsylvania under DOE's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program.

September 17, 2009
Secretary Chu names Dr. John Bannister Goodenough and Dr. Siegfried S. Hecker as the winners of the Enrico Fermi Award, one of the most prestigious science and technology awards awarded by the U.S. Government. The Presidential award carries an honorarium of $375,000, which will be shared equally, and a gold medal. The award is administered on behalf of the White House by DOE.

September 17, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE has closed on its loan offer of $5.9 billion to Ford Motor Company to transform factories across Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio to produce more fuel efficient models. The loan is part of the Department's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program, which supports the development of innovative, advanced vehicle technologies. On June 23, DOE issued a conditional loan commitment to Ford to finance up to 80 percent of qualified expenditures to improve the efficiency of light vehicles by using technologies that improve internal combustion engines and transmissions, reduce vehicle weight, reduce vehicle drag with more aerodynamic designs, and improve vehicle efficiency through the development of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles. The loan for Ford Motor Company is the first to be finalized since the program was appropriated in the fall of 2008.

September 17, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that a request (pdf) for proposal has been issued for a new platform for capability computing. The new capability platform will be named Mesa and is targeted for installment in 2010. Mesa will support the needs of all three NNSA national laboratories.

September 17, 2009
The National Petroleum Council, a group of oil-industry executives and energy experts that advises DOE on oil and natural gas issues, agrees (pdf) in response to a request from Secretary Chu to conduct two studies to consider future options for transportation fuels and the "prudent development" of natural gas and oil resources.

September 18, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that up to $40 million in funding will be available from DOE to support design and planning work for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) that will use new, high temperature, gas-cooled reactor technologies to integrate multiple industrial applications in one plant or facility, such as generating electricity while refining petroleum. NGNP will extend the application of nuclear energy into the broader industrial and transportation sectors, reducing fuel use and pollution and improving on the inherent safety of existing commercial light water reactor technology. The NGNP project is being conducted in two phases with Phase 1 comprised of research and development, conceptual design, and development of licensing requirements, and Phase 2 comprised of detailed design, license review, and construction that would lead to a demonstration plant by 2021 that is capable of producing hydrogen, electricity, and/or process heat.

September 21, 2009
Secretary Chu, in his keynote speech (pdf) to the GridWeek 2009 Conference, details his vision for implementing the smart grid and modernizing America's electrical system: a stronger, smarter, more efficient electricity infrastructure that will encourage growth in renewable energy sources and empower consumers to reduce their energy use. The Secretary also announces more than $144 million in Recovery Act funding for the electric power sector, including $44 million in awards to state public utility commissions and $100 million in available funding for smart grid workforce training programs.

September 22, 2009
President Obama, in remarks at the U.N. Climate Change Summit, tells nearly 100 world leaders in attendance that the fact that "so many of us are here today is a recognition that the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing. Our generation's response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it-boldly, swiftly, and together-we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe." The summit called by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "to mobilize political will and strengthen momentum for a fair, effective, and ambitious climate deal in Copenhagen this December."

September 22, 2009
Secretary Chu and Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner host a group of clean energy developers and manufacturers at the White House to discuss how the Recovery Act is creating jobs and helping expand the development of clean, renewable domestic energy. At the meeting, Secretaries Geithner and Chu announce $550 million in new awards through the Recovery Act's 1603 program, which provides cash assistance to energy producers in place of tax credits. This brings the total to more than $1 billion awarded to date to companies committed to investing in domestic renewable energy production.

September 22, 2009
Secretary Chu announces a $528.7 million conditional loan for Fisker Automotive for the development of two lines of plug-in hybrids under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan program. In the first stage of the program, Fisker Automotive will use a $169.3 million ATVM loan for engineering integration costs as it works with primarily U.S. suppliers to complete the company's first vehicle, the Fisker Karma. Engineers will also design tools and equipment and develop manufacturing processes. This work will be conducted at Fisker's Pontiac, Michigan, office with support from its headquarters in Irvine, California. While the final assembly of the Karma will be done overseas, more than 65 percent (based on cost) of the parts required for Karma will come from U.S. suppliers. The four-door Karma is scheduled to appear in showrooms in summer 2010. The second stage includes a $359.36 million ATVM loan for Fisker's Project Nina, involving the manufacture of a plug-in hybrid in the U.S. Fisker estimates that up to 75,000-100,000 of these highly efficient vehicles will roll off assembly lines every year beginning in late 2012.

September 22, 2009
The Department announces (pdf) the award of $10.1 million of Recovery Act funding to an Ohio-based small business to contain and cap contaminated soil in the Bethel Valley area near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

September 23, 2009
President Obama addresses the U.N. General Assembly. Two of the "four pillars" that he discusses that "are fundamental to the future that we want for our children" are disarmament and non-proliferation and climate change.

September 23, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has monitored the elimination of more than 375 metric tons (MT) of Russian highly enriched uranium (HEU)-the equivalent of more than 15,000 nuclear weapons. The 1993 U.S.-Russian HEU Purchase Agreement, which will convert 500 MT of HEU from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons into peaceful use by 2013, is now 75 percent complete.

September 24, 2009
President Obama opens a U.N. Security Council Summit on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament, which he has called and chairs as part of the U.S.'s current Presidency of the Security Council. The Council unanimously adopts UNSC Resolution 1887 committing members to work toward a world without nuclear weapons and endorsing a broad framework of actions to reduce global nuclear dangers. The session is the fifth Summit-level meeting of the Council in its 63 years of existence.

September 24, 2009
Former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former Senator Sam Nunn issue a statement supporting U.S. efforts at the U.N. Security Council Summit on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament and noting that "the meeting can help build the necessary political will around the urgent steps required to reduce nuclear dangers."

September 24, 2009
The Department issues a test notice requiring AeroSys, Inc., to provide sample air conditioners and heat pumps for laboratory testing by DOE. The test notice, issued under 10 CFR 430.70, requires AeroSys to make test samples of certain AeroSys-manufactured air conditioners and heat pumps available to DOE at its own expense. The Department will then determine whether these products comply with applicable DOE energy standards, which are designed to strengthen efficiency levels for various appliances, save money for consumers, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On July 23, DOE issued a subpoena to AeroSys to obtain data necessary to determine whether the air conditioners and heat pumps complied with relevant DOE energy efficiency standards.

September 24, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $106 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and conservation activities in nine states under DOE's Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.

September 25, 2009
At the G-20 (Group of 20) summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, prior to the morning plenary, President Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issue statements announcing that their respective delegations to the International Atomic Energy Agency presented detailed evidence demonstrating that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom for several years.

September 25, 2009
At the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, leaders of the G-20 nations agree (pdf) to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. This is intended to improve energy security, encourage investment in clean energy sources, promote green growth, and free-up resources to use for pressing social needs such as health, food security, and environmental protection.The G-20 also takes steps to better oversee and regulate oil commodity futures markets and improve oil market transparency by increasing reporting of oil production, consumption and stock data. President Obama, in remarks following the close of the summits, states that the fossil fuel initiative is "an historic effort that would ultimately phase out nearly $300 billion in global subsidies."

September 25, 2009
In remarks before the National Mining Association, James Markowsky, DOE's Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, states that ensuring that "we can continue to rely on coal as a primary energy source. . . . is one of my major priorities." He adds that "it is also a priority for Secretary Chu, who is 100 percent behind our efforts to develop competitive technologies for coal-based carbon capture and storage."

September 26, 2009
President Obama in his weekly address discusses the G-20 summit and stopping nuclear proliferation.

September 28, 2009
The first meeting of the joint U.S.-Russian Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security Working Group, established under the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission during the July 2009 Presidential Summit, is held in Washington, D.C. Secretary Chu hosts the opening session, meeting with Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman and Director General of the State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" Sergei Kiriyenko. After meeting with Secretary Chu, Deputy Secretary Poneman and Director Kiriyenko travel to Tennessee to visit DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex, while the remaining U.S. and Russian members of the working group stay in Washington to discuss a wide range of topics, including cooperation on nuclear security, nuclear safeguards, nuclear materials consolidation, nuclear emergency operations, and civil nuclear energy cooperation. The working group prepares a joint action plan to be forwarded to President Obama and President Medvedev.

September 29, 2009
The first-ever U.S.-China Electric Vehicle Forum meets in Beijing, China, bringing together more than 140 U.S. and Chinese officials from government, industry, academia, and advocacy groups to discuss progress made in the electric vehicle industry to date and opportunities for collaboration and progress moving forward. DOE Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs David Sandalow co-hosts the event with Minister Wan Gang of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

September 29, 2009
Secretary Chu delivers the keynote address at 25th anniversary celebration DOE's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

September 30, 2009
Secretary Chu and Italian Minister for Economic Development Claudio Scajola sign two nuclear energy agreements that may lead to construction of new nuclear power plants and improved cooperation on advanced nuclear energy systems and fuel cycle technologies in both countries. The U.S.-Italy Joint Declaration Concerning Industrial and Commercial Cooperation in the Nuclear Energy Sector (pdf) affirms the strong interest of the U.S. and Italy to encourage their respective nuclear industries to seek opportunities for the construction of new nuclear power plants. The bilateral Agreement on Cooperation in Civilian Nuclear Energy Research and Development (pdf) will facilitate cooperation between DOE and Italy's Ministry for Economic Development in the areas of advanced nuclear energy systems and associated fuel cycle technologies.

September 30, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that up to $12.5 million in Recovery Act funding will be awarded in early 2010 to support at least 80 graduate fellowships to U.S. students pursuing advanced degrees in science, mathematics, and engineering through the newly created Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Fellowship program.

September 30, 2009
The Department and the Environmental Protection Agency sign an agreement to signify their intent to expand and enhance the ENERGY STAR® program and the National Building Rating Program. The Memorandum of Understanding (pdf) outlines both programs and explains what each agency will be responsible for and what new expansions will be added to the program.

September 30, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), announces that, in partnership with the Navy, it has successfully completed the removal and disposal of Navy Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) that have exceeded their operational lifetimes. These simple devices are used to generate low levels of electrical power for satellites, space probes, and other applications where conventional power supplies are impractical. Over the past 16 months, 18 RTGs containing more than 550,000 decayed curies of Strontium-90 were disposed of at the Nevada Test Site.

September 30, 2009
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issues a report evaluating DOE's tank waste cleanup strategy at the Hanford Site. The GAO finds that "critical uncertainties" call into question the strategy's success. "Technical uncertainties include whether DOE can retrieve waste from tanks at the rate needed to support continuous operation of the waste treatment complex now under construction and whether key treatment technologies will work. Legal uncertainties include whether DOE can treat and dispose of some tank waste as other than high-level (highly radioactive) waste and how much residual waste can be left in the tanks when they are eventually closed. Such uncertainties could lead to significant cost increases and further delays in completing Hanford's tank waste cleanup activities."

September 30, 2009
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announces a proposed rule to use the power and authority of the Clean Air Act to begin reducing emissions from the nation's largest greenhouse gas emitting facilities. Under the rule, power plants and other large industrial facilities would be required to adopt the best, most efficient technologies available when they are constructed or upgraded.

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October 1, 2009
Representatives of the P5-plus-1, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, meet in Geneva, Switzerland, with Iranian diplomats to discuss the Iranian nuclear program. "The P5-plus-1 is united, and we have an international community that has reaffirmed its commitment to non-proliferation and disarmament," President Obama says in a statement delivered at the White House at the conclusion of the meeting. "That's why the Iranian government heard a clear and unified message from the international community in Geneva: Iran must demonstrate through concrete steps that it will live up to its responsibilities with regard to its nuclear program. In pursuit of that goal, today's meeting was a constructive beginning, but it must be followed by constructive action by the Iranian government."

October 1, 2009
The Department announces that 20 university-led teams have descended on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., along with high-tech, high-efficiency solar-powered homes they have built for the 2009 DOE Solar Decathlon. Over 800 student competitors from the U.S., Canada, Spain and Germany will compete in the 2009 Solar Decathlon. The international competition takes place on October 8 -18.

October 1, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that nearly $72 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and conservation activities in seven states and territories under DOE's Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.

October 1, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has completed, as part of its Megaports Initiative, installation and testing of radiation detection systems at four new ports this month: Ashdod, Israel; Lisbon, Portugal; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Port Klang, Malaysia.

October 1, 2009
The Department announces that DOE and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides a framework for states and DOE to work more closely on "responsible domestic production of oil and natural gas; carbon capture, transport and geologic storage; and other topics of mutual interest."

October 1, 2009
The Department's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory begins operations at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). As the world's first hard X-ray laser, the LCLS offers scientists the ability to study the fundamental behavior of atoms and molecules on unprecedented length- and time scales.

October 2, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the first round of awards from $1.4 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding in the selection of 12 projects that will capture carbon dioxide from industrial sources for storage or beneficial use. The first phase will include $21.6 million in Recovery Act funding and $22.5 million in private funding for a total initial investment of $44.1 million. The remaining Recovery Act funding will be awarded to the most promising projects during a competitive phase two selection process.

October 2, 2009
The Department announces a new collaboration between the Office of Fossil Energy and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Geothermal Technologies Program to demonstrate low temperature geothermal electrical power generation systems using oilfield fluids produced at the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center.

October 2, 2009
President Obama proclaims October 2009 as National Energy Awareness Month.

October 5, 2009
President Obama signs an Executive Order (pdf), "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance," which sets sustainability goals for federal agencies and focuses on making improvements in their environmental, energy and economic performance. The Executive Order requires federal agencies to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target within 90 days, increase energy efficiency, reduce fleet petroleum consumption, conserve water, reduce waste, support sustainable communities, and leverage federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies.

October 5, 2009
The U.S. ITER Project Office at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory announces the award of two contracts totaling $33.6 million for 8,270 km of niobium tin strand and 4,795 km of copper strand for the Toroidal Field Conductor, a major component of U.S. contributions to the ITER Project. ITER's Toroidal Field Magnets will fill the plasma volume (~1000 cubic meters) with a magnetic field roughly 100,000 times the Earth's magnetic field. The ITER Project is an international collaboration of scientists and engineers with the mission of designing and constructing a burning plasma experiment to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power. The goal is to produce fusion power that would be at least ten times greater than the external power delivered to heat the plasma.

October 6, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases updated energy projections for 2009 that indicate (pdf) a 5.9 percent reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels from the 2008 level.

October 7, 2009
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz, and Ada Yonath for their work in decoding the genetic makeup of human cells. Ramarkrishnan was a researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Flux Isotope Reactor in the early 1980s. He also is a former employee in the Brookhaven National Laboratory's biology department and a long-time user of Brookhaven's National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS). Steitz, as well, is a long-time NSLS user. All three awardees did research at the Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source.

October 7, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE will provide up to $750 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help accelerate the development of conventional renewable energy generation projects. This funding will cover the cost of loan guarantees which could support as much as $4 to 8 billion in lending to eligible projects, and the Department will invite private sector participation to accelerate the financing of these renewable energy projects. To this end, DOE has created a Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP), a streamlined set of standards designed to expedite DOE's loan guarantee underwriting process and leverage private sector expertise and capital for the efficient and prudent funding of eligible projects.

October 7, 2009
Secretary Chu, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner headline a Clean Energy Economy Forum at the White House with business leaders from around the country. Stressing the need to jump-start the American clean energy sector in order to ensure continued leadership in the global economy, the officials reiterated the President's call for comprehensive energy and climate legislation. They also answered questions and solicited the perspective of business leaders.

October 7, 2009
President Obama at a White House ceremony presents the National Medal of Science to Berni Alder of DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Joanna S. Fowler of DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory. The President also awards the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to IBM's Blue Gene series of computers, developed in partnership with DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). These awards are the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists, engineers, and inventors.

October 8, 2009
Secretary Chu, at the opening of DOE's Solar Decathlon on the National Mall, announces up to $87 million will be made available to support the development of new solar energy technologies and the rapid deployment of available carbon-free solar energy systems. Of this funding, $50 million comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The 47 projects with universities, electric power utilities, DOE's National Laboratories, and local governments have been selected to support use of solar technologies in U.S. cities, help address technical challenges, ensure reliable connectivity with the electrical grid, and train a new generation of solar workers to install and maintain solar energy systems.

October 9, 2009
The Department announces a new Request for Pre-Applications for universities interested in conducting cutting-edge nuclear energy research and development. DOE expects to fund up to $49.7 million in research through its Nuclear Energy University Programs in fiscal year 2010 pending final appropriation. The maximum total amount awarded per project will be $1.5 million for three to four years.

October 9, 2009
The Department publishes in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent (pdf) to prepare an environmental impact statement on issuing a loan guarantee to support construction and start-up of the Taylorville Energy Center in Taylorville, Illinois. The center would consist of a 730 megawatt electric generation facility that would utilize integrated gasification combined-cycle technology to produce electricity from coal. Synthesis gas processing would allow the separation and capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the manufacture of pipeline-quality Substitute Natural Gas. The gas would power turbines at the facility or be sold to an interstate pipeline. The facility would capture at least 50 percent of the CO2.

October 9, 2009
David Goldwyn, the State Department's newly appointed Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, briefs the press on his position and implementing energy security policy. He states that his "main task is to ensure that energy security is integrated into the core mission of the Department and to elevate energy diplomacy as a key function of U.S. foreign policy. So my job is going to be to coordinate, to gather together all the work the Department does in traditional energy-that's oil and gas, renewables, nuclear-into a coherent policy to raise the profile of energy sector governance and transparency in our diplomacy, and to engage both on hydrocarbons, but also on power sector reform in countries that are of concern to the United States. Obviously, I'll work closely with our interagency partners-we have tremendous technical expertise in other areas-and closely with our missions abroad as well."
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October 12, 2009
Secretary Chu attends the four-day Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, a ministerial-level international climate change initiative, meeting in London. The Secretary issues a "call to action" on carbon capture and storage in a letter delivered to energy ministers and other attendees. Noting that "coal accounts for 25 percent of the world's energy supply and 40 percent of carbon emissions," Secretary Chu emphasizes that he believes "we must make it our goal to advance carbon capture and storage technology to the point where widespread, affordable deployment can begin in 8 to 10 years." The Secretary also gives a speech (pdf) on "The Case for Carbon Capture and Sequestration." At the Ministerial Conference on October 13, the Secretary gives a speech (pdf) on "Key Technology Pathways for Carbon Capture and Storage."

October 13, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that $55 million will be made available to develop advanced technologies that can capture carbon dioxide from flue gases at existing power plants so that the greenhouse gas may be sequestered or put to beneficial use. The funding will support the development of technologies that can remove 90 percent of the CO2 in a flue gas stream at no more than a 35 percent increase in the cost of electricity.

October 13, 2009
The Department announces three new steps to strengthen its ability to enforce energy efficiency standards: 1) the formation of an enforcement team within the Office of the General Counsel, 2) the implementation of a program to randomly review manufacturers' compliance with DOE certification requirements, 3) the issuance of guidance further detailing its energy efficiency enforcement regulations.

October 13, 2009
The nation's leading manufacturers of residential central air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps sign a voluntary agreement with energy-efficiency advocacy organizations supporting new federal standards for their products. The agreement calls for regional efficiency standards to replace a quarter century of national standards and also recommends more stringent building code provisions for new construction.

October 14, 2009
The International Energy Agency (IEA) holds its two-day Ministerial meeting in Paris. Secretary Chu's remarks (pdf) focus on climate change and related energy issues. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger delivers the keynote address (pdf) on "The Future Role of the IEA." On climate change, the IEA Ministers agreed that "the cost of inaction on climate change will be greater than the costs of action," and they called for "international efforts to improve energy efficiency and accelerate RD&D of low-carbon technologies." The Ministers also agreed on "broader collaboration and activities" with China, India, and Russia, which participated in an IEA Ministerial meeting for the first time.

October 15, 2009
Secretary Chu announces new investments today in three university-led wind energy research facilities. The three university-led consortia have been selected for up to $24 million to support university research and development programs to improve land-based and offshore wind turbine performance and reliability, as well as provide career educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in wind energy technologies.

October 15, 2009
The Department releases an update on cleanup activities at the Portsmouth site and research and development and the loan guarantee application for USEC's American Centrifuge Plant at the site.

October 15, 2009
The Department publishes a final rule in the Federal Register establishing the procedures and standards for "reverse auctions" of production incentives for cellulosic biofuels pursuant to section 942 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Bidders would propose minimum levels of incentive subsidies needed from the government for given production targets.

October 16, 2009
Representatives from DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), U.K. Ministry of Defence, and Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" conclude a two-day nuclear security best practices workshop in Paris designed to exchange expertise on steps taken to ensure that nuclear weapons and materials do not fall into the hands of terrorists. The workshop is part of a series held between the U.S. and Russia pursuant to the goals of the Joint Statement on Nuclear Security by President Obama and President Medvedev in July.

October 16, 2009
Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman announces the winners of the 2009 DOE Solar Competition on the National Mall. Team Germany, the student team from Darmstadt, Germany, won top honors by designing, building, and operating the most attractive and efficient solar-powered home. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took second place followed by Team California in third place.

October 16, 2009
Secretary Chu, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) meet with employees of Southern Energy Management, a home-grown sustainable energy company, and tour the firm's signature project-one of the largest solar array energy systems in the Southeast.

October 19, 2009
Deputy Secretary Poneman heads the U.S. delegation as three days of talks open in Vienna with Iran, France, Russia, and the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. Discussions focus on Iran shipping low-enriched uranium out of the country for enrichment before it is returned for use in the Tehran Research Reactor.

October 19, 2009
Vice President Biden, joined by Secretary Chu and other administration officials, unveils Recovery Through Retrofit (pdf), a report that provides a blueprint for expanding green job opportunities and boosting energy savings by making homes more energy efficient. At a Middle Class Task Force meeting earlier in the year, the Vice President asked the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to develop a proposal for federal action to lay the groundwork for a self-sustaining home energy efficiency retrofit industry. In response, CEQ facilitated a broad interagency process with the Office of the Vice President, eleven Departments and Agencies, and six White House Offices to develop recommendations for how to use existing authority and funding to accomplish this goal.

October 19, 2009
The Department announces $454 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for energy efficiency efforts nationwide. DOE is accepting applications for a new $390 million "Retrofit Ramp-Up" program that will deploy innovative approaches to energy efficiency building retrofits. These Recovery Act funds will help create new partnerships to deliver energy bill savings to entire neighborhoods and towns. Bringing energy retrofits to whole neighborhoods at a time will simplify the process for homeowners and significantly reduce costs. In addition, DOE announces $64 million in energy efficiency funding for cities, counties, and Indian tribes.

October 19, 2009
The White House launches the GreenGov Challenge, an online participatory way for federal employees to suggest clean energy ideas and vote on others.

October 19, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases a report on "Arctic Oil and Natural Gas Potential." The Arctic holds about 22 percent of the world's undiscovered conventional oil and natural gas resources, but challenges could deter recovery: 1) the Arctic resource base is largely composed of natural gas and natural gas liquids, which are significantly more expensive to transport over long distances than oil; 2) the Arctic oil and natural gas resources will be considerably more expensive, risky, and take longer to develop than comparable deposits found elsewhere in the world; 3) unresolved Arctic sovereignty claims could preclude or substantially delay development of those oil and natural gas resources where economic sovereignty claims overlap; and (4) protecting the Arctic environment will be costly.

October 19, 2009
The Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Siemens Energy Inc. formally commission a new 2.3 megawatt (MW) Siemens wind turbine at NREL's National Wind Technology Center near Bolder, Colorado. The turbine is the centerpiece of a multi-year project to study the performance and reliability of a new class of large, land-based machines-in what will be the biggest government-industry research partnership for wind power generation ever undertaken.

October 19, 2009
The National Research Council releases a congressionally mandated report on the "hidden" costs of energy production and use-such as the damage air pollution imposes on human health-that are not reflected in market prices of coal, oil, other energy sources, or the electricity and gasoline produced from them. The report estimates damages of $120 billion in the U.S. in 2005, a number that reflects primarily health damages from air pollution associated with electricity generation and motor vehicle transportation. The figure does not include damages from climate change, harm to ecosystems, effects of some air pollutants such as mercury, and risks to national security, which the report examines but does not monetize.

October 21, 2009
Secretary Chu promotes the GreenGov Challenge on his Facebook page.

October 21, 2009
The Department announces that the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP), one of seven partnerships in DOE's Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships program, has successfully injected 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the Mount Simon Sandstone, a deep saline formation that is widespread across much of the Midwest. Preliminary results indicate that the formation has good CO2 storage potential and could possibly serve as a repository for CO2 emissions captured from stationary sources in the region.

October 22, 2009
The Department announces the award of a contract to Wastren Advantage, Inc., to manage waste management activities at the Oak Ridge Transuranic (TRU) Waste Processing Center. The contract is a cost-plus-award-fee contract with a three-year base and one two-year option period with a total value of $160 million.

October 23, 2009
President Obama, in remarks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, discusses energy issues and the need for clean energy.

October 26, 2009
Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), delivers opening remarks at the start of the second international meeting on Next Generation Safeguards in Tokai-mura, Ibaraki Japan. The meeting brings together safeguards and nonproliferation experts from 19 countries and various international agencies to review progress in global efforts to revitalize and expand support for international safeguards.

October 26, 2009
Secretary Chu announces $151 million in funding for 37 research projects awarded through the DOE's recently-formed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). ARPA-E's mission is to develop nimble, creative, and inventive approaches to transform the global energy landscape while advancing America's technology leadership. This is the first round of projects funded under ARPA-E, which is receiving total of $400 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These projects "are potentially revolutionary," the Secretary notes. "They are risky, and many of these technologies will not pan out. But this is high-risk, high reward research: if even one or two of these ideas become transformative technologies-the next transistor or another Green Revolution-this will be among the best investments we've ever made."

October 26, 2009
The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, in a letter to Secretary Chu, recommends that DOE "execute both immediate and longterm actions that can reduce the risk posed by a seismic event at the Plutonium Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory."

October 26, 2009
Secretary Chu tours the National Ignition Facility and discusses climate change at an all-hands presentation at DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

October 27, 2009
Secretary Chu testifies before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on S. 1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, the Senate version of comprehensive energy and climate change legislation passed by the House on June 26.

October 27, 2009
President Obama, in a speech at Florida Power and Light's (FPL) DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, announces $3.4 billion in funding to spur transition to a smart energy grid, the largest single energy gridmodernization investment in U.S. history. The $3.4 billion in grant awards are part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and will be matched by industry funding for a total public-private investment worth over $8 billion. One-hundred private companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities, and other partners will receive the Smart Grid Investment Grant awards, including FPL, which will use its $200 million in funding to install over 2.5 million smart meters and other technologies.

October 27, 2009
Vice President Biden announces Fisker Automotive is re-opening the shuttered former GM Boxwood Road plant in Wilmington, Delaware, to produce long-range, plug-in, electric hybrid vehicles. On September 22, SecretaryChu announced a $528.7 million conditional loan for Fisker Automotive for the development of two lines of plug-in hybrids.

October 27, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE has entered into a $24 million conditional loan commitment with Tenneco Inc. to develop fuel efficient emission control components for advanced technology vehicles. Tenneco is the first component manufacturer to receive a conditional loan commitment under DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program.

October 27, 2009
The Environmental Protection Agency publishes in the Federal Register a proposed greenhouse gas tailoring (pdf) rule. The tailoring rule would amend a key section of the federal Clean Air Act so EPA could regulate coal-fired power plants and other large facilities generating more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions per year.

October 27, 2009
The Department and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announce (pdf) the settlement of a long-standing disagreement on how costs will be allocated between DOE and the State for the cleanup of the West Valley Demonstration Project and the Western New York Nuclear Service Center.

October 28, 2009
Secretary Chu hosts a Clean Energy Economy Forum at the White House with stakeholders from around the country. DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) participates in the event, with 14 individuals from across the NNSA nuclear security enterprise discussing how science and innovation will lead the way to future green jobs.

October 28, 2009
President Obama signs into law H.R. 3183, the "Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010," which provides FY 2010 appropriations for DOE. At $27.1 billion, the budget is $1.3 billion less than the Administration's proposed budget. Among changes to the original request, hydrogen technology/fuel cell research at $174 million is funded at considerably more than the $68 million request. Of the $280 million requested for eight Energy Innovation Hubs, Congress provides funding for one but allows DOE to use previously appropriated funds for an additional two.

October 28, 2009
The White House releases a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (pdf) signed by nine federal departments and agencies, including DOE, to make it faster and simpler to build transmission lines on federal lands. The goal of the agreement is to speed approval of new transmission lines, reduce expense and uncertainty in the process, generate cost savings, increase accessibility to renewable energy and jump start job creation.

October 29, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Administration of the Customs Control Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KCCC) and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hold a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan, to recognize the successful installation of radiation detection equipment at four border crossings and one international airport in Kazakhstan. The ceremony also recognizes the effective cooperation between the U.S., Kazakhstan, and Norway in preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material across Kazakhstan's borders.

October 29, 2009
Secretary Chu announces up to $338 million in Recovery Act funding for the exploration and development of new geothermal fields and research into advanced geothermal technologies. These grants will support 123 projects in 39 states, with recipients including private industry, academic institutions, tribal entities, local governments, and DOE's National Laboratories. The grants will be matched more than one-for-one with an additional $353 million in private and non-Federal cost-share funds.

October 29, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases its Summary: U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves, 2008, noting that domestic natural gas proved reserves rose by 3 percent in 2008 to reach their highest level since the EIA began reporting them in 1977. Reserves from shale reservoirs were up 51 percent over 2007 and now account for 13 percent of total proved reserves of dry natural gas.

October 30, 2009
Secretary Chu addresses America's nuclear security workers and thanks them for their service to the nation. Secretary Chu's remarks, delivered by video to workers at DOE sites across the country, highlight the talented experts who work not just on nuclear security issues but also in critical areas such as climate change, disease modeling, homeland security, and cyber security. The Secretary's remarks are part of a "National Day of Remembrance" for nuclear weapons program workers, the result of a Senate resolution passed in May.

October 30, 2009
An opinion piece by Secretary Chu in honor of National Weatherization Day appears in the Huffington Post.

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November 2, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is providing up to $5.5 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support the X PRIZE Foundation's work to inspire a new generation of energy efficient vehicles. As part of the Automotive X PRIZE competition, teams design innovative, commercially-viable, high-efficiency vehicles. The funding, which builds on a partnership with the X PRIZE Foundation that began in 2008, will provide technical assistance and expand national education and outreach efforts for the competition.

November 2, 2009
Secretary Chu invites energy ministers from across the Western Hemisphere to attend the Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas in Washington, DC on April 15-16, 2010. This Ministerial will bring energy leaders together to advance the goals of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, announced by President Obama on April 17.

November 2, 2009
Secretary Chu posts on the White House Energy and Environment Blog a video on DOE's Savannah River Site and the Recovery Act, noting that as of October 30th 2,295 jobs have been created or saved at the site because of the Recovery Act.

November 3, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is awarding more than $155 million in funding under the Recovery Act for 41 industrial energy efficiency projects across the country. These awards include funding for industrial combined heat and power systems, district energy systems for industrial facilities, and grants to support technical and financial assistance to local industry. The industrial sector uses more than 30 percent of U.S. energy and is responsible for nearly 30 percent of U.S. carbon emissions.

November 3, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that more than $38 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and conservation activities in Alaska, Kansas, Utah, and West Virginia under DOE's Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.

November 3, 2009
President Obama and leaders of the European Union (EU) meet at the White House and discuss climate change and other issues. They agree to establish a Ministerial-level U.S.-EU Energy Council that will improve energy security and contribute to achieving climate change goals. The Council will promote new and ongoing cooperation on energy security and markets, energy policy, energy technologies research, and the deployment of clean and sustainable energy technologies. Secretary Chu and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will represent the U.S.

November 4, 2009
Secretary Chu, as co-host, opens the first meeting of the U.S.-European Union Energy Council held at the State Department. The Energy Council forms three working groups: energy security and markets, energy policies and regulation, and energy technologies and research cooperation. On the U.S. side, DOE is responsible for the work on technology and research and shares responsibility for energy policy with the Department of Commerce.

November 4, 2009
Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman, at a community breakfast in Aiken, South Carolina, discusses how funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is accelerating environmental cleanup work at DOE's Savannah River Site and creating or saving thousands of jobs in the area.

November 4, 2009
The Department announces up to $30.6 million in Recovery Act funding for the selection of seven hydropower projects that modernize hydropower infrastructure by increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impacts at existing facilities. The selections will deploy innovative technologies such as high-efficiency, fish-friendly turbines, improved water intakes, and advanced control systems in order to increase power generation and improve environmental stewardship. Under Secretary Kristina Johnson made the announcement while visiting Voith Hydro Inc.'s manufacturing plant in York, Pennsylvania.

November 4, 2009
The Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory releases a report (pdf), co-authored with the Center for American Progress and the Asia Society Center, that provides a framework for long-term bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and China in the development and use of carbon capture and sequestration technologies.

November 5, 2009
Secretary Chu, at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, highlights DOE's continued commitment to partnering with Native Americans to support the development of clean energy projects on tribal lands.

November 5, 2009
First Lady Michelle Obama, in remarks at DOE headquarters at the Forrestal building in Washington, D.C., discusses science and math education and promotes DOE's National Science Bowl.

November 5, 2009
The Department publishes in the Federal Register a Notice of Availability (pdf) of a draft environmental impact statement on the Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Project, a $2 billion, 582-Megawatt advanced coal-fired power plant in Mississippi being considered by DOE for a loan guarantee.

November 5, 2009
The Department announces that a large-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) storage project at the Cranfield site in Southwestern Mississippi has become the fifth worldwide to reach the important milestone of more than 1 million tons injected.

November 6, 2009
The Department announces a cooperative agreement with Hydrogen Energy California LLC (HECA) to build and demonstrate a hydrogen-powered electric generating facility, complete with carbon capture and storage, in Kern County, California. HECA plans to construct an advanced integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant that will produce power by converting fuel-a blend of 75 percent coal and 25 percent petroleum coke-into hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2). The hydrogen will be used to fuel a combustion turbine, enabling net generation of 250 megawatts of electricity, enough power for more than 150,000 homes. Approximately 90 percent of the CO2 produced from the gasification process, or about 2 million tons per year, will be transported via pipeline to the Elk Hills oilfield, less than four miles away, where it will be used for enhanced oil recovery. The estimated capital cost for the project is approximately $2.3 billion. The federal cost-share is limited to $308 million, or just under 11 percent of the total project costs.

November 10, 2009
The International Energy Agency (IEA) releases its annual World Energy Outlook (pdf) for 2009. The IEA notes in the Executive Summary (pdf) that the global financial crisis and the ensuing recession has caused energy use to fall for the first time since 1981 but has also caused energy investment worldwide to plunge. At the same time, "the recession, by curbing the growth in greenhouse-gas emissions, has made the task of transforming the energy sector easier by giving us an unprecedented, yet relatively narrow, window of opportunity to take action to concentrate investment on low-carbon technology." The IEA observes that with the "unexpected boom of North American unconventional gas production," a "glut of gas is looming" over the next several years. The world's remaining resources of natural gas, the IEA concludes, "are easily large enough to cover any conceivable rate of increase in demand through to 2030 and well beyond."

November 10, 2009
The Department announces that Secretary Chu will travel to India and China from November 12th to the 18th as part of DOE's efforts to advance opportunities for international clean energy cooperation. During the China portion of the visit, Secretary Chu will join with President Obama as part of the official White House delegation.

November 10, 2009
Secretary Chu names Jonathan Silver Executive Director of DOE's loan program office. In this role, Silver will oversee DOE's Loan Guarantee Program as well as the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. Silver will report directly to Secretary Chu.

November 10, 2009
Department officials join industry representatives and managers from DOE's National Laboratories to celebrate installation of a state-of-the-art 1.5-MW wind turbine at DOE's National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado. The turbine, which is the first large-scale wind turbine fully owned by DOE, will serve as a platform for research projects aimed at improving the performance of wind technology and lowering the costs of wind energy.

November 12, 2009
The Departments of Agriculture and DOE announce projects selected for more than $24 million in grants to research and develop technologies to produce biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products. Of the $24.4 million announced, DOE plans to invest up to $4.9 million with the Department of Agriculture contributing up to $19.5 million.

November 12, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE has issued a final determination and market impact study for the proposed uranium transfer to fund accelerated cleanup activities at DOE's Portsmouth Site in Piketon, Ohio. The market review and determination confirms that the proposed transfer of uranium will not have an adverse material impact on the domestic uranium industries. DOE's Office of Environmental Management will be able to transfer as much as 300 metric tons of uranium per quarter in 2009 and 2010 for cleanup at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, so long as the total transfer during that period does not exceed 1,125 metric tons of uranium. The proposed uranium transfer will raise an estimated $150-$200 million per year.

November 12, 2009
President Obama begins a 10-day journey to Asia, which includes visits to Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea.

November 12, 2009
The Department publishes in the Federal Register two Notices of Intent to prepare environmental impact statements on issuing loan guarantees to support construction and start-up of facilities located in Mississippi (pdf) and Indiana (pdf) that will produce natural gas from coal, with up to 90 percent capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) that would be sold for enhanced oil recovery.

November 13, 2009
President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama meet in Tokyo and affirm the intent of the U.S. and Japan, as the two leading global investors in energy research and development, to expand already strong cooperative activities in technology research and development to provide solutions to the challenges of global energy security and climate change. The two leaders issue a Joint Message on Climate Change Negotiations and a Joint Statement toward a World without Nuclear Weapons.

November 13, 2009
Secretary Chu, on his trip to India, meets with Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia and other Indian leaders and discusses the opportunities for partnerships on clean energy technologies.

November 13, 2009
An opinion piece by Admiral Joe Krol, Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations for DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration, highlighting NNSA's capabilities to prevent and respond to nuclear terrorism appears in the Portland Press Herald.

November 14, 2009
Secretary Chu discusses India and energy issues on the White House Energy and Environment Blog.

November 16, 2009
The Department announces that an upgrade to the Cray XT5 high-performance computing system known as the "Jaguar" at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has made it the world's fastest supercomputer. Funded with $19.9 million under the Recovery Act, the upgrade of Jaguar XT5 to 37,376 six-core AMD Istanbul processors increases performance 70 percent over that of its quad-core predecessor. Researchers anticipate that this will help facilitate improved climate predictions, fuel-efficient engine designs, and the creation of advanced materials for energy production, transmission, and storage.

November 17, 2009
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao meet in Beijing and announce a "far-reaching" package of measures to strengthen cooperation between the U.S. and China on clean energy, including 1) the establishment of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center, 2) the launch of the U.S.-China Electric Vehicles Initiative, 3) the launch of a new U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Action Plan, 4) the launch of a new U.S.-China Renewable EnergyPartnership, 5) a pledge to promote cooperation on cleaner uses of coal, including large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects, 6) the launch of a new U.S.-China Shale Gas Resource Initiative, and 7) the establishment of the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program. In the climate change section of a Joint Statement, the two leaders say that an "agreed outcome" of the upcoming Copenhagen conference, "while striving for final legal agreement," should be "based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, include emission reduction targets of developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions of developing countries. The outcome should also substantially scale up financial assistance to developing countries, promote technology development, dissemination and transfer, pay particular attention to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable to adapt to climate change, promote steps to preserve and enhance forests, and provide for full transparency with respect to the implementation of mitigation measures and provision of financial, technology and capacity building support."

November 17, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that nearly $40 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and conservation activities in Florida and Maine under DOE's Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.

November 18, 2009
Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman, while visiting DOE's Sandia National Laboratories, announces $104.7 million in funding from the Recovery Act for eight new projects to establish critical research and testing facilities at seven DOE National Laboratories. The projects will support the development and improvement of clean energy and efficiency technologies of strategic national interest. Specifically, the funding will go toward reducing the production cost of carbon fiber manufacturing to help in reducing the weight of vehicles, improved efficiency and lower costs for car batteries, and net-zero energy building technologies.

November 19, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has transmitted a classified technical review of the Lifetime Extension Programs (LEPs) by the JASONs to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. The LEPs is aimed at extending the lifetimes of weapon systems in the U.S. stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing.

November 20, 2009
The Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle accelerator located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, resumes operations after more than a year of repairs.

November 23, 2009
Secretary Chu announces more than $18 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support small business innovation research, development, and deployment of clean energy technologies. In this first phase of funding, 125 grants of up to $150,000 each will be awarded to 107 small advanced technology firms across the U.S.

November 23, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the selection of Clemson University to receive up to $45 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for a wind energy test facility that will enhance the performance, durability, and reliability of utility-scale wind turbines. The new facility will be located at the Charleston Naval Complex, a former Navy base in North Charleston, South Carolina, and will be a part of the Clemson University Restoration Institute campus. The test facility will operate as a non-profit organization with a business model designed for sustainability while providing ongoing state-of-the-art testing to wind turbine manufacturers.

November 23, 2009
The New Mexico Environment Department assesses (pdf) a penalty of $960,000 to DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory for its continued failure to install a groundwater monitoring network and provide adequate groundwater monitoring data for the laboratory's main waste management area.

November 24, 2009
President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh meet in Washington and launch a "Green Partnership" to strengthen U.S.-India cooperation on clean energy, climate change, and food security. They also establish an Indo-U.S. Clean Energy Research and Deployment Initiative, supported by U.S. and Indian government funding and private sector contributions. The new Initiative will include a Joint Research Center operating in both the U.S. and India to foster innovation and joint efforts to accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies. The Initiative will facilitate joint research, scientific exchanges, and sharing of proven innovation and deployment policies. The two leaders also affirm that the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference" must be comprehensive and cover mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology, and in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, it should reflect emission reduction targets of developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions of developing countries. There should be full transparency through appropriate processes as to the implementation of aforesaid mitigation actions. The outcome should further reflect the need for substantially scaled-up financial resources to support mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, in particular, for the poorest and most vulnerable."

November 24, 2009
Secretary Chu, at an event in Columbus, Ohio, announces that DOE is awarding $620 million for projects around the country to demonstrate advanced Smart Grid technologies and integrated systems that will help build a smarter, more efficient, more resilient electrical grid. These 32 demonstration projects, which include large-scale energy storage, smart meters, distribution and transmission system monitoring devices, and a range of other smart technologies, will act as models for deploying integrated Smart Grid systems on a broader scale. This funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be leveraged with $1 billion in funds from the private sector to support more than $1.6 billion in total Smart Grid projects nationally.

November 25, 2009
The White House announces that President Obama will travel to Copenhagen on December 9 to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where he is eager to work with the international community to drive progress toward a comprehensive and operational Copenhagen accord. Based on the President's work on climate change over the past 10 months-in the Major Economies Forum, the G20, bilateral discussions and multilateral consultations-and based on progress made in recent, constructive discussions with China and India's Leaders, the President believes it is possible to reach a meaningful agreement in Copenhagen. In the context of an overall deal in Copenhagen that includes robust mitigation contributions from China and the other emerging economies, the President is prepared to put on the table a U.S. emissions reduction target in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels in 2020 and ultimately in line with final U.S. energy and climate legislation. In light of the President's goal to reduce emissions 83 percent by 2050, the expected pathway set forth in this pending legislation would entail a 30 percent reduction below 2005 levels in 2025 and a 42 percent reduction below 2005 in 2030. Secretary Chu will travel with the President.

November 27, 2009
The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including Russia and China, calls (pdf) on Iran to "immediately" suspend operations at a once-secret uranium enrichment plant and expresses "serious concern" about the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program. The White House issues a statement saying the Board's vote "demonstrates the resolve and unity of the international community with regard to Iran's nuclear program" and "underscores broad consensus in calling upon Iran to live up to its international obligations and offer transparency in its nuclear program."

November 30, 2009
Secretary Chu joins with South Carolina and Georgia Congressional delegation members to break ground (pdf) on a new renewable energy fueled facility at the Savannah River Site. The new Biomass Cogeneration Facility replaces a deteriorating, inefficient coal powerhouse and oil-fired boilers at a savings of approximately $35 million a year in energy and operation and maintenance costs and reduces air emissions, including 100,000 tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions.

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December 1, 2009
Department and Massachusetts state officials join to break ground for a $40 million facility to test large wind turbine blades. The facility, supported by $25 million in DOE funding through the Recovery Act, will be the only U.S. test center capable of testing wind turbine blades up to 90 meters long for both land-based and offshore wind energy systems.

December 2, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the launch of the Save Energy Now® LEADER Program, which will provide technical assistance and resources to companies that pledge significant improvements in industrial energy efficiency. Thirty-two companies representing a broad spectrum of the U.S. industrial sector sign a voluntary pledge to reduce their industrial energy intensity by 25 percent over the next decade.

December 2, 2009
Secretary Chu participates in the Youth Clean Energy Forum at the White House.

December 2, 2009
The Department's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in a report (pdf) on "The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values," finds that proximity to wind energy facilities does not have a pervasive or widespread adverse effect on the property values of nearby homes.

December 3, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2008 (pdf), noting that total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 7,053 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2008, a decrease of 2.2 percent from the 2007 level. Total estimated U.S. GHG emissions in 2008 consisted of 5,839.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (82.8 percent of total emissions); 737.4 MMTCO2e of methane (10.5 percent of total emissions); 300.3 MMTCO2e of nitrous oxide (4.3 percent of total emissions); and 175.6 MMTCO2e of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) (2.5 percent of total emissions).

December 4, 2009
President Obama and Russian President Medvedev issue a Joint Statement on the expiration of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) expressing "our commitment, as a matter of principle, to continue to work together in the spirit of the START Treaty following its expiration, as well as our firm intention to ensure that a new treaty on strategic arms enter into force at the earliest possible date."

December 4, 2009
The White House issues a Statement on the United Nation Climate Change Conference to be held in Copenhagen noting that President Obama has "discussed the status of the negotiations with Prime Minister Rudd, Chancellor Merkel, President Sarkozy, and Prime Minister Brown and concluded that there appears to be an emerging consensus that a core element of the Copenhagen accord should be to mobilize $10 billion a year by 2012 to support adaptation and mitigation in developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable and least developed countries that could be destabilized by the impacts of climate change." The U.S., the Statement says, "will pay its fair share of that amount and other countries will make substantial commitments as well."

December 4, 2009
Secretary Chu and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announce the selection of 19 integrated biorefinery projects to receive up to $564 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate the construction and operation of pilot, demonstration, and commercial scale facilities. The projects-in 15 states-will validate refining technologies and help lay the foundation for full commercial-scale development of a biomass industry in the U.S. The projects selected today will produce advanced biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts using biomass feedstocks at the pilot, demonstration, and full commercial scale. The projects will be matched with more than $700 million in private and non-federal cost-share funds, for total project investments of almost $1.3 billion.

December 4, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the selection of three new projects with a value of $3.18 billion to accelerate the development of advanced coal technologies with carbon capture and storage at commercial-scale. An investment of up to $979 million, including funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be leveraged by more than $2.2 billion in private capital cost share as part of the third round of the Department's Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI).

December 4, 2009
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that Los Alamos National Laboratory fired its first-ever double-viewpoint hydrodynamic test of a nuclear weapon component mockup at the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) facility at Los Alamos. Conducted inside a specially designed double-walled containment vessel, the test used high explosives to drive an implosion of a duplicate component made from non-nuclear surrogate materials. As the mockup is imploding, the DARHT facility fires two electron accelerators positioned at a 90-degree angle from one another to generate high-power X-rays that are used to create multiple images of the imploding device's inner workings, which are then compared with computer predictions.

December 7, 2009
The two-week United Nations Climate Change Conference opens in Copenhagen. High-level ministers and heads of state will not arrive until the second week.

December 7, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that $100 million in a second round of funding opportunities for transformational energy research projects will be made available through DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Areas of focus include: 1) electrofuels, the making of liquid transportation fuels-without using petroleum or biomass-by using microorganisms to harness chemical or electrical energy to convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuels, 2) innovative materials and processes for advanced carbon capture technologies, and 3) batteries for electrical energy storage in transportation.

December 7, 2009
The Department announces that as part of the expanded enforcement efforts under the ENERGY STAR® program, effective January 2, 2010, certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers are banned from using the ENERGY STAR® label that helps consumers identify energy efficient products that will reduce their energy use and save them money. DOE is proceeding with this action after multiple independent labs have confirmed that when certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers are tested using existing DOE test procedures, they do not qualify for the ENERGY STAR® Program. The announcement is part of a broader effort at DOE to expand enforcement efforts for the ENERGY STAR® and appliance standards programs.

December 7, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the issue of a final rule amending DOE's regulations for its Loan Guarantee Program. The revised rule will allow for increased participation in the program by financial institutions and other investors and enable the support of more innovative energy technologies in the U.S. Under the rule change, the Loan Guarantee Program will be able to consider financing projects together with other lenders and will be able to provide loan guarantees to projects with multiple participants.

December 7, 2009
The Environmental Protection Agency announces that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. EPA also finds that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat. EPA's final findings (pdf) respond to the 2007 Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants. The findings allow EPA to finalize the GHG standards proposed earlier this year for new light-duty vehicles as part of the joint rulemaking with the Department of Transportation.

December 8, 2009
President Obama, in a speech on job creation and economic growth at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., proposes next steps that include a "new program to provide incentives for consumers who retrofit their homes to become more energy-efficient" and the expansion of "select Recovery Act initiatives to promote energy efficiency and clean energy jobs which have been proven to be particularly popular and effective."

December 8, 2009
The Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announces the creation of the ARPA-E Fellows Program. The Fellows Program will consist of highly technical scientists and researchers who will actively help create the strategic direction and vision of ARPA-E. Fellows will support ARPA-E's Program Directors in program creation, while also undertaking independent explorations of promising future research areas for the agency. Fellows will also engage with world class researchers and innovators to develop theses for high impact ARPA-E research program areas, prepare energy technology and economic analyses, and make recommendations to DOE senior management.

December 9, 2009
The Department announces that manufacturers of certain residential products have a 30 day window ending January 8, 2010, to submit accurate certification reports and compliance statements as part of enhanced enforcement of DOE's energy efficiency appliance standards program.

December 9, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the offer of a $245 million conditional loan guarantee to Red River Environmental Products, LLC, to build an activated carbon (AC) manufacturing facility near Coushatta, Red River Parish, Louisiana. AC is the leading technology for reducing mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants and has been adopted by virtually all coal-fired boilers required to reduce mercury emissions. AC can reduce a coal-fired power plant's mercury emissions by up to 90 percent by absorbing vaporized mercury contained in the flue gas and collecting it in the plant's particulate collection device.

December 9, 2009
Secretary Chu announces that DOE is launching Open Energy Information (www.openEI.org)-a new open-source web platform that will make DOE resources and open energy data widely available to the public. The data and tools housed on the free, editable and evolving wiki-platform will be used by government officials, the private sector, project developers, the international community, and others to help deploy clean energy technologies.

December 9, 2009
The Natural Research Council releases Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States, the final report in a series by the America's Energy Future project, which is sponsored in part by DOE. The report finds that energy efficiency technologies that exist today or that are likely to be developed in the near future could lower projected U.S. energy use 17 percent to 20 percent by 2020, and 25 percent to 31 percent by 2030.

December 11, 2009
The Department's Inspector General (IG) issues a Special Report (pdf) on "Management Challenges at the Department of Energy." The IG finds that Recovery Act implementation has "significantly increased management stresses and strains, impacting virtually every program and operation." At the same time, "the Department and its staff have been energized by the new and evolving programmatic initiatives resulting from the Recovery Act."

December 14, 2009
The U.S. and Cambodia sign an agreement in Phnom Penh to begin a cooperative effort to detect, deter, and interdict illicit smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material. The agreement paves the way for DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to work with the Secretariat of the National Counter Terrorism Committee and other government agencies in Cambodia to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at the Port of Sihanoukville. In addition to providing equipment and related infrastructure, NNSA will also train Cambodian officials, including customs, on the use of the equipment and provide for maintenance of the equipment for a specified period.

December 14, 2009
The Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate releases ten Technology Action Plans that summarize mitigation potential of high-priority technologies, highlight best practice policies, and provide a menu of specific actions that countries can take individually and collectively to accelerate development and deployment of low-carbon solutions. The ten technology areas and lead countries are: 1) advanced vehicles (Canada), 2) bioenergy (Brazil and Italy), 3) building energy efficiency (U.S.), 4) carbon capture, use and storage (Australia and the UK), 5) high-efficiency, low-emissions coal (India and Japan), 6) industrial energy efficiency (U.S.), 7) marine energy (France), 7) smart grid (Italy and Korea), 8) solar energy (Germany and Spain), and 10) wind energy (Germany, Denmark, and Spain).

December 14, 2009
Secretary Chu, in remarks (pdf) on behalf of President Obama at the U.S. Center at the Copengagen Climate Change Conference, announces the launch of the new Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative (Climate REDI) that will accelerate deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in developing countries. Climate REDI includes three new clean energy technology programs and funding needed to launch a renewable energy program under the World Bank's Strategic Climate Fund. Secretary Chu also invites his counterparts in the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate and other countries to a first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial in Washington, D.C., next year. The Secretary also does a video clip for the White House Blog.

December 14, 2009
Vice President Biden sends a memo (pdf) to President Obama on the positive impact of the energy components of the Recovery Act.

December 14, 2009
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases the Annual Energy Outlook 2010 reference case updating projections for U.S. energy consumption and production through 2035. "Our projections show that existing policies that stress energy efficiency and alternative fuels, together with higher energy prices, curb energy consumption growth and shift the energy mix toward renewable fuels," said EIA Administrator Richard Newell. "However, assuming no new policies, fossil fuels would still provide about 78 percent of all the energy used in 2035." Key findings include: 1) total primary energy consumption grows by 14 percent between 2008 and 2035, as use of renewables increases and the fossil fuel share of total U.S. energy consumption falls from 84 percent to 78 percent; 2) total U.S. consumption of liquid fuels, including both fossil liquids and biofuels, grows from 19 million barrels per day in 2008 to 22 million barrels per day in 2035, with biofuels accounting for all of the growth and, as a result, reliance on imported oil declines significantly; 3) total domestic natural gas production grows from 20.6 trillion cubic feet in 2008 to 23.3 trillion cubic feet in 2035; and 4) carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy grow at 0.3 percent per year, assuming no new policies to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions.

December 14, 2009
The National Research Council releases a report sponsored by DOE on the future implementation of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. The report finds that "costs of plug-in hybrid electric cars are high-largely due to their lithium-ion batteries-and unlikely to drastically decrease in the near future." As a result, "subsidies in the tens to hundreds of billions of dollars over that period will be needed if plug-ins are to achieve rapid penetration of the U.S. automotive market. Even with these efforts, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are not expected to significantly impact oil consumption or carbon emissions before 2030."

December 15, 2009
President Obama meets with a group representing the labor, small business, and manufacturing communities-stakeholders in the shift to a more energy efficient economy. The President then visits a Home Depot in Alexandria, Virginia, to highlight the importance of providing incentives to consumers who do energy retrofits on their homes. The President then has lunch at the White House with business leaders representing different parts of the supply chain-manufacturing, retail, and in-home audits and implementation-to discuss the opportunities for creating jobs through incentivizing home energy efficiency upgrades.

December 16, 2009
Vice President Biden is briefed on the state of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile by the directors of DOE's three national security laboratories-Mike Anastasio from Los Alamos National Laboratory, George Miller from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Tom Hunter from Sandia National Laboratory. Secretary Chu, Deputy Secretary Poneman, National Nuclear Security Administrator Tom D'Agostino, and officials from the Departments of State and Defense are also present.

December 16, 2009
Secretary Chu announces the winners of the 2009 E.O. Lawrence Award for their outstanding contributions in research and development supporting DOE and its missions. The six winners will receive a gold medal, a citation, and $50,000.

December 17, 2009
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and discusses the "state of the negotiations" with the press. Secretary Clinton announces that the U.S. "is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries."

December 18, 2009
President Obama arrives at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. In remarks at the Morning Plenary Session, the President states that he has come "not to talk, but to act." Noting that "our ability to take collective action is in doubt right now, and it hangs in the balance," he says "the pieces of [an] accord should now be clear." A series of afternoon meetings by President Obama with world leaders culminates in an early evening meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao of China, Prime Minister Singh of India, President Lula of Brazil, and President Zuma of South Africa, at which an agreement is reached to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius and to "take action to meet this objective consistent with science and on the basis of equity." The agreement calls for each nation to put concrete commitments into an appendix to the document. These commitments will then be subject to international consultation and analysis but will not be legally binding. President Obama, in a late evening "press availability" calls the agreement a "meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough" even if only a "first step," conceding that emissions targets that are going to be set "will not be by themselves sufficient to get to where we need to get by 2050."

December 18, 2009
Secretary Chu announces award selections for $60 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support transmission planning for the country's three interconnection transmission networks. The 6 awards will promote collaborative long-term analysis and planning for the Eastern, Western and Texas electricity interconnections, which will help states, utilities, grid operators, and others prepare for future growth in energy demand, renewable energy sources, and Smart Grid technologies. This is the first-ever effort to take a collaborative, comprehensive look across each of the three transmission interconnections. The Secretary also announces that he has joined with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Jon Wellinghoff to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (pdf) between the agencies to coordinate efforts related to interconnection-level electric transmission planning.

December 18, 2009
The Department's Office of Science issues its FY 2009 Laboratory Performance Report Card for the ten DOE laboratories under its purview.

December 19, 2009
Delegates from the 193 nations at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, after a sometimes heated debate lasting into the early hours of the morning, agree to "take note" of the accord (pdf) shaped by President Obama and the four other leaders the previous evening.

December 22, 2009
Secretary Chu outlines DOE's plans to invest up to $366 million to establish and operate three new Energy Innovation Hubs focused on accelerating research and development in three key energy areas. Each Hub, to be funded at up to $122 million over five years, will bring together a multidisciplinary team of researchers in an effort to speed research and shorten the path from scientific discovery to technological development and commercial deployment of highly promising energy-related technologies. The three DOE Energy Innovation Hubs will focus on: 1) production of fuels directly from sunlight, 2) improving energy-efficient building systems design, and 3) computer modeling and simulation for the development of advanced nuclear reactors.

December 22, 2009
The Department's Office of Legacy Management opens the Legacy Management Business Center (LMBC), a 59,000-square-foot facility in Morgantown, West Virginia, dedicated to storing, managing, and processing inactive, temporary DOE records from closed Cold War nuclear sites.

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