Browsing: Energy

Energy's Steven Chu has an awesome sense of humor

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The Onion today published an amusing story with the headline “Hungover Energy Secretary Wakes Up Next To Solar Panel.” It contains an incriminating photo of a perplexed Steven Chu in bed wearing a tank-top, and this classic quote: “This is bad. I really need to stop doing this. I’ve got to get this thing out of here before my wife gets home.” But what is even better than the story is this: Chu actually responded on his official Facebook page, and denied the alleged affair with a solar panel was behind his decision to step down from the Energy Department.…

Head of National Nuclear Security Administration steps down

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The Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration’s administrator is stepping down, according to a Dec. 21 statement. Thomas D’Agostino has worked in the federal government for more than 36 years but said the time had come to step down – effective Jan. 18, 2013 – and make way for new leadership. The full statement is reprinted below: After more than 36 years of service — including the last five and a half years as the NNSA Administrator and Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, and two years as Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs — my wife Beth and I have decided…

So what about those White House solar panels?

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Last year Energy Secretary Stephen Chu announced with much fanfare at a green government symposium that the White House will have solar panels on it – by the end of spring no less. Well, that day has come and gone. But instead of solar panels, there is just a June 20 statement on the Energy Department’s blog that says the following before highlighting areas of success: The Energy Department remains on the path to complete the White House solar demonstration project, in keeping with our commitment, and we look forward to sharing more information — including additional details on the…

Survey: Many agencies still sluggish on FOIA changes despite White House push

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Two years after President Obama pledged a new dawning of governmental sunshine, barely half of 90 federal agencies say they’ve made concrete changes in their handling of Freedom of Information Act requests, according to survey findings released Sunday. While 49 agencies reported changes to their FOIA processes, the remainder either said they had no information or did not respond to the Knight Open Government Survey. In a similar round-up last year, only 13 agencies reported changes, so this year’s numbers reflect a large uptick. Still, “at this rate, the president’s first term in office will be over by the time federal agencies…

Government responses to shutdown questions UPDATE

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The Energy, Commerce and Defense departments seem to be on the same page, at least when it comes to handling media inquires about a possible government shutdown. As a matter of course, here is what the Defense Department sent over: As a matter of course, the Department of Defense plans for contingencies. In fact, since 1980, all agencies have had to have a plan in case of a government shutdown, and these plans are updated routinely. We will do everything we have to do to continue to support the deployed troops. The Department must also continue many other operations necessary for the…

Government responses to shutdown questions eerily similar

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The staff over here at Federal Times are getting a sense of deja vu from agency responses to our questions about a possible government shutdown. Here is a response from the Energy Department (Emphasis added). As a matter of course, our agency plans for contingencies, but this is besides the point since, as the bipartisan congressional leadership has said on a number of occasions and as the President has made clear, no one anticipates or wants a government shutdown. The Department is working with both sides on Capitol Hill to fund the government and keep its vital services and functions…

Teenage mutant ninja rabbits?

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The Tri-City Herald in Washington state this morning reports about a sticky situation emerging at an Energy Department facility. A radioactive rabbit has been caught at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Richland, Wash., and state health workers are now combing nearby grounds for — yes — radioactive rabbit droppings. The scary thing is, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Hanford had another mutant bunny emergency last year, and flew helicopters above the grounds to locate the radioactive poop, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. And in much less cute news, the Seattle Times reported in 2009 that Hanford was…

Energy Department steps up efficiency enforcement

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The Energy Department announced $3.5 million in proposed penalties against 27 companies and manufacturers of products that have not complied with energy efficiency certification requirements. The latest proposed penalties are part of a new effort to enforce compliance on energy efficiency, according to the Energy Department. Scott Blake Harris, the Energy Department’s general counsel, wrote on the agency blog that that when he arrived in his position, the agency was not enforcing 35-year old energy efficiency standards. He said that these standards are a critical part of future national energy plans. He also said that stepped-up enforcement is a minimum…

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