Washington D.C. – This week, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman and other senior Energy Department officials will participate in events across the country to highlight America’s investments in cutting-edge energy innovations that are laying the building blocks for an American economy built to last.  The visits nationwide will highlight American-made energy resources like natural gas and biofuels, and focus on the important role American scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs are helping to ensure the U.S. leads in the global clean energy economy.

On Thursday, February 9, Secretary Chu will tour the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL’s) facilities outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he will tour a range of research and development facilities.  The tour will focus on science and technology that is now being developed at NETL to extract natural gas more safely and efficiently, and will highlight the initial innovations supported by the national laboratory that have helped to spur the expansion of shale gas development in Pennsylvania and around the country. After the open press tour, the Secretary will join with NETL Director Anthony Cugini and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl to deliver remarks and take questions from reporters. 

Later in the day, the Secretary will join Mayor Ravenstahl at the Pittsburgh City-County Building to highlight a Recovery Act-funded project that will reduce energy use and energy bills at one of the city’s main municipal buildings.  The Secretary will also meet with a range of natural gas industry leaders and the Marcellus Shale Coalition while in Pittsburgh.  

Also on Thursday, Deputy Secretary of Energy Poneman will tour Dow Kokam’s new global battery research and development center, located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, outside of Kansas City. The R&D center aims to bring next-generation lithium-ion battery solutions to the market faster, increase battery performance and reduce their overall cost. The Energy Department and Dow Kokam have shared a strong partnership in working to improve lithium-ion battery performance. Last August, Dow Kokam was awarded a $4.9 million Energy Department grant and unveiled its new R&D center in October.

And on Friday, February 10, Energy Department Senior Advisor Peter Gage will tour Novozymes biofuels facilities in Blair, Nebraska. In 2010, Novozymes was awarded a clean energy manufacturing tax credit for $28.4 million that helped to expand its production operations. The company manufactures an “enzyme cocktail,” which converts cellulose in various feedstocks, waste paper and cardboard, wood chips, and corn into simple sugars that are then fermented into biofuels.

For details on the specific trips, please contact the Energy Department’s Office of Public Affairs at 202-586-4940.