Timeline of Events: 2008

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January 2, 2008
Crude oil prices briefly rise above $100 a barrel before closing at $99.62 a barrel. The new record high is close to the inflation-adjusted record of $102.81 set in April 1980. The White House says that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) will not be tapped to bring down prices. "This President would not use the [SPR] to manipulate [prices] unless there was a true emergency," states White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. "Right now we understand that prices are high and demand is extremely high." Perino says the President is focused on ways to increase oil supply. "Doing a temporary release of the SPRO is not going to change prices very much," she notes. "We know that from past history."

January 3, 2008
The Department of Energy (DOE) issues a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to the Battelle Memorial Institute for nuclear safety violations at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington. Battelle is the managing and operating contractor for PNNL. The PNOV relates to two radiological events that occurred at PNNL, one in December 2006, the other in June 2007. The proposed civil penalty of $288,750 is based on the significance of the violations, yet reflects substantial mitigation granted by DOE due to corrective actions taken by Battelle to address the issues and prevent recurrence. The Price-Anderson Amendments Act of 1988 authorizes DOE to undertake regulatory actions against contractors for violations of its nuclear safety requirements.

January 3, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) announces that it will update projections of U.S. energy demand and supply through 2030 in the Annual Energy Outlook 2008 released on December 12, 2007, to reflect the provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which was signed into law on December 19, 2007. "The Congress has passed, and the President has signed, energy legislation containing many provisions that will significantly impact both the level and mix of energy produced and consumed in the U.S. over the next 25 years," notes Guy Caruso, EIA's Administrator. Initial review of the new law by EIA staff suggests that new fuel economy standards for motor vehicles, the mandate for a substantial increase in the use of biofuels, and new efficiency standards for appliances and lighting are likely to have particularly important impacts on energy projections.

January 4, 2008
Twenty leaders in the U.S. fusion community, including Ned Sauthoff, project manager of the U.S. Contributions to ITER Project at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, send a letter to Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Marburger, Secretary Bodman, and key congressional committee chairmen urging that funding be provided for continued U.S. participation in ITER.

January 7, 2008
President Bush, in a speech to the Union League Club of Chicago, discusses high energy prices. "There is no quick fix," the President notes. "We ought to be exploring for more oil and gas in the United States of America, and I'm convinced we can do so in environmentally friendly ways. And the truth of the matter is, if we're deeply concerned about the environment and want to make sure we're wealthy enough to deal with environmental challenges, we ought to be using nuclear power."

January 7, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has removed another shipment of nuclear weapons grade plutonium from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California to DOE's Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The shipment is part of an accelerated effort announced last month to remove nuclear material from LLNL by 2012-two years earlier than planned when the first shipment of plutonium left LLNL in late 2006. Similar actions are underway at other nuclear weapons complex sites.

January 9, 2008
The Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announces the results of the Pacific Northwest GridWise Demonstration Project, a year-long effort that used advanced technologies to enable consumers to be active participants in improving power grid efficiency and reliability while saving money. The project involved two separate studies to test demand-response concepts and technologies. The Olympic Peninsula Project found homeowners are willing to adjust their individual energy use based on price signals-provided via information technology tools. The Grid Friendly Appliance Project demonstrated that everyday household appliances can automatically reduce energy consumption at critical moments when they are fitted with controllers that sense stress on the grid. Both studies helped reduce pressure on the grid during times of peak demand.

January 10, 2008
The Department announces that Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), LLC, has been selected as the management and operating contractor for DOE's Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina. The contract is a cost-plus award-fee contract valued at approximately $800 million per year and is for a five-year base period with the option to extend it for up to five additional years. The SRS management and operating contract includes three key mission areas: environmental cleanup, operation of the Savannah River National Laboratory, and National Nuclear Security Administration activities. SRNS is a limited liability corporation consisting of Fluor Federal Services, Inc., Honeywell International, Inc., and Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company (a Northrop Grumman Company).

January 11, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces the availability of a draft Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (SPEIS). The SPEIS evaluates NNSA's proposal for continuing the transformation of the nuclear weapons complex, along with a range of reasonable alternatives. NNSA's objective is to create a nuclear weapons infrastructure that is smaller, safer, more secure, and less expensive. Nineteen public hearings will be held across the country.

January 14, 2008
President Bush, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on a multi-nation tour of the Middle East, views a model of the proposed Masdar City, a planned green, sustainable community of 25,000 people, which will be fully solar-powered and use light rail for transportation. The President notes that city based "entirely upon renewable energy. . . . will be an opportunity to see what works and what won't work, and an opportunity to share their technology with others."

January 14, 2008
Secretary Bodman announces the resignation of Deputy Secretary Clay Sell. The Deputy Secretary's resignation will be effective February 29.

January 14, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that the first new boiler and turbine of a fossil fuel power plant it is refurbishing is up and running in the city of Seversk in Siberia, marking a major milestone in a nonproliferation project to shut down two weapons-grade plutonium production reactors in Russia. The fossil fuel power plant will provide heat and electricity so that two of the three remaining Russian reactors producing weapons-grade plutonium can be shut down, effectively eliminating the production of 800 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium per year.

January 15, 2008
President Bush discusses energy issues with King Abdullah and Saudi officials in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Participating in a Roundtable with Saudi Entrepreneurs, he states that he has discussed with officials "the fact that oil prices are very high, which is tough on our economy, and that I would hope, as OPEC considers different production levels, that they understand that if their-one of their biggest consumers' economy suffers, it will mean less purchases, less oil and gas sold." Later at a press conference, he notes that "there is not a lot of excess capacity in the marketplace. What's happened is, is that demand for energy has outstripped new supply. And that's why there's high price. And I fully understand how it affects the U.S. consumer." The President says that he hopes that "OPEC, if possible, understands that if they could put more supply on the market it would be helpful. But a lot of . . . these oil-producing countries are full out."

January 15, 2008
Secretary Bodman and Department of Agriculture (USDA) Acting Secretary Chuck Conner announce the appointment of six new members and the reappointment of seven members to serve on its Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee for a term of three years. The Committee was established by the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 to assist USDA and DOE in meeting important national goals for a healthier rural economy and improved national energy security.

January 15, 2008
The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, established by Congress in 2005, issues its final report. In order to adequately fund future surface transportation investments, the commission recommends that the federal gas tax be increased from 5 to 8 cents per gallon per year over the next 5 years, after which it should be indexed to inflation.

January 16, 2008
Secretary Bodman departs on a five-nation tour to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Egypt. The purpose of the trip is to enhance the U.S. relationship with oil-producing nations, promote sustained investment in conventional and alternative energy sources, and encourage improvements in global energy efficiency. On his return, the Secretary plans to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

January 17, 2008
Secretary Bodman meets with Jordan's Prime Minister Nader al-Dahabi in Amman, Jordan, and discusses the growing energy cooperation between the two nations aimed at increasing global energy security. "The U.S. and Jordan have a strong and growing relationship in advancing global energy security," the Secretary says. "Cutting-edge energy technologies such as those being developed in Jordan complement efforts underway in the United States to harness scientific innovation to provide greater energy options." Afterwards, the Secretary discusses high energy prices with reporters. "The reason that the price of oil is increasing is in part due to the fact that there is a perceived shortage," the Secretary notes. "In my own view, there is some evidence to suggest that the supplies are less than what we would like to see them."

January 17, 2008
The Department's Office of Science announces that 55 projects were awarded a total of 265 million hours of computing time on some of the world's most powerful supercomputers located at DOE facilities as part of its 2008 Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program. This is the largest amount of supercomputing resource awards ever donated and three times that awarded in 2007. The supercomputers will allow cutting-edge research and design of virtual prototypes to be carried out in weeks or months, rather than the years or decades that would be needed using conventional computing systems. The projects-with applications from aeronautics to astrophysics, and from climate change to combustion research-were chosen based on their potential breakthroughs in the science and engineering research and their suitability of the project for using supercomputers. Launched in 2003, the INCITE mission is to advance American science and industrial competitiveness.

January 17, 2008
Under Secretary Bud Albright, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, announces that: 1) DOE will invest up to $30 million for cost-shared development and demonstration projects supporting Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs), and 2) DOE will participate in the U.S. Automotive Partnership for Advancing Research & Technologies-or USAutoPARTs-a cooperative alliance between the State of Michigan and the original auto parts suppliers industry. The $30 million is for projects to improve battery performance so vehicles can deliver up to 40 miles of electric range without recharging, and address critical barriers to achieving DOE's goal of making PHEVs cost-competitive by 2014 and ready for commercialization by 2016. USAutoPARTs will perform pre-competitive research and development and engage auto suppliers to advance cost-effective emerging technologies into performance-specified, factory-ready materials, processes, components and systems.

January 19, 2008
Secretary Bodman continues his six-nation visit to the Middle East and Europe with a two-day stop in Saudi Arabia where he meets with Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi to discuss joint energy cooperation. The Secretary praises Saudi efforts to enhance, protect, and modernize its energy infrastructure and discusses Saudi Arabia's plans to expand oil production capacity.

January 21, 2008
Secretary Bodman visits the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he delivers keynote remarks at the Masdar World Future Energy Summit 2008 emphasizing the importance of innovation in securing safe, reliable, affordable, and diverse energy supplies. On the sidelines of the energy summit, the Secretary tells reporters that OPEC should increase the supply of oil. "We are hopeful that they will increase supplies," the Secretary notes. "I am of the view that there needs to be an increase in supply in order to call the markets of the world well supplied." The Secretary also holds bilateral energy discussions with the UAE's Minister of Energy Mohammed bin Dha'en Al Hamili and other UAE officials.

January 22, 2008
Secretary Bodman meets with Qatari Amir H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Abdullah Al-Attiyah to discuss the importance of investments to expand oil and natural gas production, protect critical energy infrastructure, and promote research and development to diversify world energy supplies. The Secretary also visits U.S. troops at Camp As-Sayliyah.

January 22, 2008
President Bush notifies Congress and the Secretaries of State and Energy that he has approved the proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between the United States of America and the Republic of Turkey Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, signed at Ankara on July 26, 2000.

January 23, 2008
Secretary Bodman meets with Egyptian President Muhammad Hosni Said Mubarak and reaffirms the two nations' long-standing economic and energy partnership. The Secretary highlights the importance of Egypt's participation in the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and acknowledged Egypt's efforts to promote nuclear safeguards and secure radioactive material. The two leaders discuss their shared objectives to promote alternative and renewable sources of energy, as well as policies that promote increased investments in the development of energy resources. Following the meeting, the Secretary holds a "press availability."

January 23, 2008
The Department cancels the competition for a new contract for the management and operation (M&O) of DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), located in Richland, Washington. The decision is made "in light of the complexities" created by a provision in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2008 calling for the inclusion of a "use permit" in any future PNNL M&O contract. The use permit contract allows the M&O contractor to use laboratory and other resources to pursue work for its own benefit and in direct competition with the private sector. DOE had eliminated the use permit in its draft Request for Proposals for prospective contractors issued on October 25, 2007.

January 23, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has released a second request for information (RFI) on ways to improve its current contracting structure for the nuclear weapons complex. NNSA received input from over 20 respondents to the first RFI, issued in September 2007, and based on that input and discussions within the NNSA community developed a set of potential contracting options that could promote Complex Transformation.

January 24, 2008
The Department announces the 20 university-led teams selected to compete in DOE's fourth Solar Decathlon, which will be held on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in the fall of 2009. Teams have been selected from universities in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, and each team will receive $100,000 from DOE to uniquely design, build, and operate an energy efficient, fully solar-powered home.

January 28, 2008
President Bush, in his State of the Union address, tells Congress that to "build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology." Noting that "our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil," the President reminds Congress that in 2007 "I asked you to pass legislation to reduce oil consumption over the next decade, and you responded." He asks Congress now to "take the next steps: Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future. Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases."

January 28, 2008
The Department and the State of Hawaii sign a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a long-term partnership designed to transform Hawaii's energy system to one that utilizes renewable energy and energy efficient technologies for a significant portion of its energy needs. The partnership aims to put Hawaii on a path to supply 70 percent of its energy needs using clean energy by 2030, which could reduce 72 percent of Hawaii's current crude oil consumption.

January 29, 2008
President Bush signs Executive Order 13457, "Protecting American Taxpayers from Government Spending on Wasteful Earmarks." The Executive Order directs federal agencies to ensure that laws passed by Congress in the future do not spend money on an earmarked project based on language in a Committee report or any other communication (e.g., phone-marking) from Members of Congress or other persons acting on their behalf.

January 29, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in a speech before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, announces that DOE will invest up to $114 million, over four years, (Fiscal Years 2007-2010) for four small-scale biorefinery projects to be located in Commerce City, Colorado; St. Joseph, Missouri; Boardman, Oregon; and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Building on President Bush's goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive by 2012, these ten-percent of commercial-scale biorefineries will use a wide variety of feedstocks and test novel conversion technologies to provide data necessary to bring online full-size, commercial-scale biorefineries. On average, commercial-scale biorefineries input 700 tons of feedstock per day, with an output of approximately 20-30 million gallons a year (MMGY); these small-scale facilities will input approximately 70 tons of feedstock per day, with an estimated 2.5 MMGY.

January 29, 2008
The Department and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sign a Memorandum of Understanding to expand cooperative efforts to promote and increase energy efficiency at the country's national marine sanctuaries.

January 29, 2008
The Department's Office of Fossil Energy issues a comprehensive new report, Alaska North Slope Oil and Gas: A Promising Future or an Area in Decline? (full report - pdf), which concludes that the North Slope has "plenty of potential." If certain assumptions occur, such as the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for exploration and development and the completion of an Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline by 2016, an additional 36 billion barrels of oil and 137 trillion cubic feet of natural gas would be added over current reserve estimates.

January 30, 2008
Secretary Bodman announces a restructured approach to its FutureGen project that aims to demonstrate cutting-edge carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at multiple commercial-scale Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) clean coal power plants as opposed to the concept announced in 2003 of building a single near-zero emissions, 275 MW power plant that produced hydrogen and electricity from coal on a smaller-than-commercial-scale. The restructured approach will focus on separating carbon dioxide (CO2) for CCS and does not include hydrogen production. The multiple plants will be operational by 2015. DOE's investment will provide funding for no more than the CCS component of the power plant-not the entire plant construction, compared with the 2003 concept where the federal government would incur 74 percent of rising costs. "This restructured FutureGen approach is an all-around better investment for Americans," notes the Secretary. "As technological advancements have been realized in the last five years, we are eager to demonstrate CCS technology on commercial plants that when operational, will be the cleanest coal-fired plants in the world."

January 31, 2008
Secretary Bodman issues a Policy Statement strengthening DOE's efforts to transfer state-of-the-art technologies from DOE national laboratories and facilities to the marketplace. The Policy lays out guiding principles, responsibilities, and a review process to help ensure that new technologies are deployed, and continuity and uniformity of technology transfer activities are maintained, throughout the DOE complex.

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February 1, 2008
The Department, the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) sign a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a collaborative framework for developing and deploying a Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor Prototype. A sodium-cooled fast reactor uses liquid sodium to transfer heat, burning the plutonium and other transuranic elements in the process, producing clean, safe nuclear power and less waste, and increasing non-proliferation goals.

February 1, 2008
Secretary Bodman and Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) Director Sergey Kiriyenko meet to discuss U.S.-Russian efforts to keep nuclear weapons and weapons material out of the hands of terrorists. The Secretary and Director Kiriyenko discuss progress made and next steps to shutdown Russia plutonium reactors in 2008, dispose of 68 metric tons of plutonium, and advance cooperation to expand the use of civilian nuclear energy through the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. Secretary Bodman also highlights the importance of working together to meet the 2008 deadline for completing nuclear weapons site security upgrades under the Bratislava Initiative.

February 4, 2008
President Bush submits his Fiscal Year 2009 budget request to Congress. A White House Fact Sheet states that the budget "increases energy security by focusing on renewables, accelerating technological breakthroughs, and expanding traditional sources to reduce our reliance on foreign oil." The White House highlights four energy initiatives. The budget: 1) provides $400 million as the first installment of a three-year, $2 billion U.S. commitment to an international clean energy technology fund that will increase and accelerate the deployment of clean technologies in developing nations to help confront climate change; 2) doubles the capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to 1.5 billion barrels; 3) provides $242 million for Nuclear Power 2010 to promote the licensing of new nuclear plants through an industry cost-shared effort with streamlined regulatory processes and $302 million for Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative research and development; and 4) provides $648 million for research, development, and demonstration of advanced coal technologies.

February 4, 2008
Secretary Bodman announces President Bush's $25.015 billion Fiscal Year 2009 budget request for DOE, an increase of $1.130 billion over the FY 2008 appropriation. Of DOE's four "business lines," the National Nuclear Security Administration is $9.097 billion, a $287 million or 3.3 percent increase above the FY 2008 appropriation; for energy activities, the FY 2008 budget request at $3.936 billion is up $137 million or 3.6 percent compared to the FY 2008 appropriation; funding for the Office of Science is $4.722 billion, up $749 million or 18.8 percent; environment programs are $6.209 billion, down $62 million or 1.0 percent. Fossil energy at $1,127 million is up 24.6 percent from the FY 2008 appropriation while nuclear energy at $1,419 million is up 37.3 percent. Energy efficiency and Renewable Energy at $1,255 million is down 27.1 percent. "This budget furthers President Bush's comprehensive strategy to increase energy, economic, and national security by focusing on accelerating technological breakthroughs, expanding traditional and renewable sources of energy, and increasing investment in scientific discovery and development," notes the Secretary.

February 4, 2008
The Department announces in its Fiscal Year 2009 budget request the intent to transfer the DOE Isotope Program from the Office of Nuclear Energy to the Office of Science's Office of Nuclear Physics (NP). Under the NP program, the Isotope Program will be entitled "Isotope Production and Applications".

February 4, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in a letter (pdf) on DOE's Fiscal Year 2008 appropriations to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, says that he is "concerned about the funding levels provided to support DOE's scientific research missions" and particularly "about the levels provided to the Office of Science." The cuts, he notes, "will mean scaling back efforts across the spectrum of use-inspired basic energy sciences; ceding to Europe our global leadership in high energy physics; hindering the Department's ability to meet our international commitment to Japan, China, South Korea, India, Russia, and the European Union to cooperate in a large-scale fusion experiment known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER); directly eliminating hundreds of research jobs at National Laboratories in 2008; and reducing research opportunities for the best and brightest at universities across this Nation."

February 5, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in a speech at the Platts 4th Annual Nuclear Energy Conference, discusses the future of nuclear power.

February 6, 2008
Secretary Bodman testifies before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on DOE's Fiscal Year 2009 budget request. The Secretary says that the $25 billion budget request "stays on course to address the growing demand for affordable, clean and reliable energy; preserve our national security; and enable scientific breakthroughs that could have significant impacts on our quality of life and the health of the American people."

February 6, 2008
In a letter (pdf - 250 kb) to Secretary Bodman, Representatives John D. Dingell (D-MI), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Bart Stupak (D-MI), chairman of that committee's Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, inform him that they have "just learned" the DOE's "highly touted nonproliferation program . . . has been funding Russian research institutes working on nuclear projects in Iran." Given that Iran's ongoing efforts to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, the two note, "it is troubling that DOE would subsidize or otherwise support Russian institutes providing technology and services to the Iranian nuclear program."

February 7, 2008
Thomas P. D'Agostino, DOE's Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), briefs the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on the U.S. record of accomplishment on Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. D'Agostino stresses that the U.S. is accelerating efforts to dismantle its nuclear weapons while bringing the overall U.S. nuclear stockpile down dramatically, with plans to reduce its nuclear weapons complex over the next decade. The U.S. will also continue to play a leading role in reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism around the world.

February 7, 2008
Secretary Bodman testifies before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on DOE's Fiscal Year 2009 budget request. The Secretary also tells the committee that nonproliferation projects with Russia "are not enhancing the Iranian nuclear program." He adds that "all of the projects under the scientific engagements program are vetted through a very vigorous process."

February 8, 2008
President Bush's National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley, gives a speech on the proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials to the Center for International Security and Cooperation.

February 11, 2008
The Department releases the Climate VISION Progress Report 2007 (pdf), which reports on the actions taken by energy-intensive industries to improve greenhouse gas emissions intensity of their operations from 2002 to 2006. The report indicates that the power and energy-intensive industrial sectors improved their combined emissions intensity by 9.4 percent over this four year period, and in 2006 actual greenhouse gas emissions for these sectors fell a combined 1.4 percent. Climate VISION-Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now-is a public-private partnership initiative comprised of business associations and trade groups representing 13 energy-intensive industrial sectors and the Business Roundtable, which collectively account for about 40 to 45 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

February 11, 2008
The Department announces plans to recompete the management and operating (M&O) contract supporting the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management's Yucca Mountain Project. The current M&O contract was last competed in 2000 resulting in an award in March 2001 to Bechtel SAIC, LLC. The current contract has been extended through March 2009.

February 11, 2008
The White House releases the Economic Report of the President (pdf), an annual report to Congress on the Nation's economic progress. The report notes that high energy prices "dominated the movement of overall inflation in the consumer price index (CPI), with large increases toward the end of the year [2007]." Noting that from 2003 to 2007 consumer energy prices increased 41 percent relative to non-energy prices, the report states that "consumers have chosen to respond to the energy-price shock by using savings to buffer some of its effects." The report devotes an entire chapter-out of eight--to "Searching for Alternative Energy Solutions."

February 12, 2008
The Department announces that it will provide up to $20.6 million for a total of 13 projects aimed at advancing solid-state lighting (SSL) research and product development. Combined with industry cost share, investment in these projects will total $28 million. SSL lighting is an advanced technology that creates light with considerably less heat than incandescent and fluorescent lamps, allowing for increased energy efficiency.

February 13, 2008
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases a report on Policy Options for Reducing CO2 Emissions (pdf). The CBO concludes that a "tax on emissions would be the most efficient incentive-based option for reducing emissions and could be relatively easy to implement."

February 14, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in a speech at the International Builders Show, launches the Department's Builders Challenge, a voluntary national energy savings program calling for the U.S. homebuilding industry to build 220,000 high-performance, energy efficient homes by 2012. A high-performance home would use at least 30% less energy than a typical new home built to meet criteria of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code.

February 15, 2008
Secretary Bodman responds to Representative John D. Dingell's (D-MI) letter of February 6 on DOE's nonproliferation projects with Russia and the Iranian nuclear program. The Secretary assures him that U.S. efforts in Russia are not abetting any Iranian technical capabilities that might be used to produce nuclear weapons.

February 18, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that the United Kingdom will contribute $4 million to NNSA's efforts to combat the spread of nuclear weapons and materials.

February 18, 2008
The Department announces that DOE's Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) has begun a 2-month field test in the Michigan Basin by initiating the injection of up to 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into a saline formation some 3,200 to 3,500 feet below the earth's surface. The project will assess the formation's ability to safely and permanently store the greenhouse gas.

February 19, 2008
The price of oil closes above $100 per barrel for the first time.

February 20, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) notes the 15th anniversary of the signing of the agreement with Russia to convert weapons grade Russian highly enriched uranium (HEU) to fuel for use in American nuclear power plants. 322 metric tons (710,000 lbs.) of HEU from Soviet-era dismantled nuclear weapons has been eliminated from Russia's stockpile-the equivalent of nearly 13, 000 weapons. The HEU is converted into low enriched uranium (LEU) in Russia and sold to the U.S., where it is made into nuclear fuel. About one in ten light bulbs in America is powered by material that was once in a Soviet nuclear weapon.

February 20, 2008
The Navy successfully shoots down with a missile an errant satellite 133 miles above the earth. DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) assists the Navy using its Red Storm supercomputer, located at its Sandia National Laboratories. For about two months, NNSA diverted Red Storm and its technical experts and codes to the secret project to simulate, assess, and plan the complex mission. All 26,569 processors were used on Red Storm to perform complex simulations that allowed NNSA's technical experts to predict various details and possibilities. The work helped answer many questions, such as at what altitude to hit the satellite, how to hit it to minimize the spread of debris, including its hazardous fuel, and the best way to make sure that the satellite was destroyed with a single shot.

February 21, 2008
The Department and SuperPower, Inc., commemorate the Albany High-Temperature Superconducting (HTS) Cable Project, the world's first use of second-generation HTS wire on the grid. The 350-meter HTS cable runs between the Riverside and Menands Substations in Albany, New York. HTS cables encounter essentially no resistance in electricity flow, which increases efficiency by eliminating 7-10 percent of the energy losses of conventional copper-based cables. DOE has invested over $13.5 million in the $27 million project.

February 21, 2008
The Department's Office of Fossil Energy announces a joint venture between U.S. and Chinese companies to extract coal mine methane at the Hebi coal mines in the Henan Province in China. The project is being coordinated by Tulane University's U.S.-China Energy and Environmental Technology Center (EETC). Initial plans call for the installation of twenty-two (22) 500kW generators to use the coal mine methane drained from the Hebi mines and creation of a ventilation air methane oxidation facility at one of the mines.

February 25, 2008
The Department announces-in partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association-the selection of the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) of Anchorage, Alaska, as the winner of the 2007 Wind Cooperative of the Year Award. This annual award, in its seventh year, recognizes AVEC for leadership, demonstrated success and innovation in its wind power program. AVEC provides electricity service to 53 small, native villages in rural Alaska and is specifically using wind power to reduce its dependence on diesel power.

February 26, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in a signing ceremony at DOE's Forrestal headquarters in Washington, welcomes the United Kingdom as the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership's (GNEP) twenty-first partner. GNEP, a voluntary international partnership, aims to safely and securely expand nuclear power worldwide while responsibly managing nuclear waste and reducing proliferation risks. "As a long-standing global leader in the field of nuclear energy, the United Kingdom brings to GNEP expertise and knowledge that we can all benefit from," the Secretary says.

February 26, 2008
The Department announces that it will invest up to $33.8 million, over four years, (Fiscal Years 2008-2011) for four projects that will focus on developing improved enzyme systems to convert cellulosic material into sugars suitable for production of biofuels. Combined with industry cost share, up to $70 million will be invested in these projects, with a minimum 50 percent cost share from industry.

February 27, 2008
The Department announces the competitive selection of three venture capital firms to participate in DOE's newly established Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) pilot program, which aims to accelerate deployment and commercialization of advanced clean energy technologies from three DOE National Laboratories into the global marketplace. DOE has selected Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers (Menlo Park, CA) to work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; ARCH Venture Partners (Chicago, IL) to work with Sandia National Laboratory; and Foundation Capital (Menlo Park, CA) to work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

February 27, 2008
Thomas P. D'Agostino, Administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), testifies before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on "U.S. Strategic Posture."

February 28, 2008
President Bush, at a press conference, is asked to respond to the prediction by some analysts that the price of gasoline will reach $4 a gallon in the spring. The President responds that he had not heard that but the price of gas is "high now." He notes that "energy policy needs to be focused on a lot of things"-including renewables and conservation. He observes that the price of corn used to produce ethanol is going up and is affecting the price of food, but "research and development . . . will enable us to use other raw material to produce ethanol." This is a "transitory period to new technologies," the President says, but "we need to be finding more oil and gas at home if we're worried about becoming dependent on oil overseas."

February 28, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that special nuclear material quantities requiring the highest level of security protection have been removed from DOE's Sandia National Laboratories. The move completes the first phase in NNSA's efforts to consolidate special nuclear material at five sites by 2012. Sandia National Laboratories is the first NNSA site to reduce its on-site inventory of nuclear materials below the level requiring "category I and II" protection. These security categories require the highest level of security to protect material that includes plutonium and highly enriched uranium.

February 28, 2008
Deputy Secretary Sell-one day before leaving DOE-tells a reporter that the Department is considering a plan under which a government-chartered, TVA-like corporation would take over DOE's nuclear waste program. The corporation would assume the responsibility of developing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and pursue other options for dealing with spent nuclear fuel, including reprocessing. "That's an idea," the Deputy Secretary notes, "that's been around for a long time, and I think it has a lot of attractive things about it. We've thought about it on numerous occasions. We continue to think about it."

February 28, 2008
The Department's Idaho National Laboratory (INL) awards a contract to Eagle Rock Timber of Idaho Falls to build a new radiochemistry laboratory (RCL) at the Materials and Fuels Complex on the INL desert site. Groundbreaking is scheduled this spring with the facility slated to open in February 2009. The laboratory is estimated to cost $5 million and will consolidate activities from existing laboratories.

February 29, 2008
The Department announces an amendment to its 2005 Record of Decision (ROD) for the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project to allow for the use of truck, in addition to rail, in transporting residual radioactive materials from the Moab site in Utah. These materials will be relocated to a new disposal site 30 miles north at Crescent Junction, Utah. Highway expansion and the cost of rail upgrades have made truck transport the optimal method for beginning to relocate the tailings.

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March 4, 2008
President Bush, holding a press availability following a meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan, speaks about the likelihood of the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) meeting of ministers in Vienna holding production output steady. "If I were a member of OPEC, I'd be concerned about high energy prices causing people to buy less energy over time," the President says. High energy prices "stimulate alternative fuels, which we're doing a lot here in America. We're spending a lot of money on biofuels and ethanols and new ways to make ethanol. My advice to OPEC-of course they haven't listened to it-but my advice to OPEC is to understand the consequences of high energy prices."

March 4, 2008
Secretary Bodman and Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Ed Schafer announce, in remarks at the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008 (WIREC), that DOE and USDA combined will invest up to $18.4 million, over three years, for 21 biomass research and development (R&D), and demonstration projects. These projects specifically aim to address critical barriers to making production of biomass more efficient and cost-effective and bring online more clean, bio-based products and biofuels.

March 4, 2008
Guy Caruso, administrator of DOE's Energy Information Administration, testifies (pdf) on the long-term outlook for energy markets in the U.S. before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He projects that real world crude oil prices will decline gradually from current levels to $57 per barrel in 2016, as expanded investment in exploration and development brings new supplies to the world market. After 2016, real prices begin to rise, as demand continues to grow and higher cost supplies are brought to market. In 2030, the average real price of crude oil is $70 per barrel in 2006 dollars. Caruso also tells the committee that DOE's ongoing filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the current high-price environment is raising global oil prices by about $2 per barrel.

March 4, 2008
The Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory releases a report on "Biofuel Feedstock Assessment for Selected Countries" (pdf). The report projects that Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and members of the Caribbean Basin Initiative could produce sufficient feedstock for more than 30 billion gallons of ethanol per year by 2017, which would represent a six-fold increase over current production. Nearly 40 percent of the projected supply in 2017 is based on the potential to use new technology to produce advanced biofuels from cellulosic feedstock using crop residues and forestry byproducts.

March 5, 2008
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), meeting in Vienna, decides to maintain current production levels. OPEC observes that "the market is well-supplied, with current commercial oil stocks standing above their five-year average." OPEC "further noted, with concern, that the current price environment does not reflect market fundamentals, as crude oil prices are being strongly influenced by the weakness in the US dollar, rising inflation and significant flow of funds into the commodities market." In response, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino says President Bush is "disappointed" at OPEC's decision not to boost output. Secretary Bodman notes that the U.S. and OPEC have different views on speculation. "They see speculation in the market. I see a decline in global inventories." The Secretary adds that there is "really nothing" that the U.S. can do to bring down short-term oil prices but to lobby OPEC and other producers to increase supplies.

March 5, 2008
President Bush addresses the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008 (WIREC). The President tells the audience that they are "pioneers on the frontiers of change" and that within a decade "people will marvel about how far technology has helped change our habits and change the world." He discusses the importance of renewable and alternative energy technologies to increasing America's energy security and addressing the long-term challenge of global climate change. "America has got to change its habits," the President says. "We've got to get off oil."

March 5, 2008
The Department announces plans to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve expansion site in Richton, Mississippi. The study will consider whether to select a new location for new petroleum reserve's raw water intake structure from the Leaf River to an alternate location with greater water availability. The SEIS will also evaluate alternate locations for the oil terminal in Pascagoula and, if needed, the brine disposal pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico with the goal of reducing potential environmental impacts and accommodating local economic development goals.

March 6, 2008
The Department and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) sign a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a framework for close coordination to advance the common goal of satisfying the nation's growing electricity needs by improving energy efficiency and promoting the widespread adoption of electric energy demand response programs in an effort to curtail energy use during peak periods.

March 6, 2008
The Department denies (pdf) requests for rehearing of the Mid-Atlantic and the Southwest Area National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (National Corridors) designated by DOE in October 2007 as areas of significant electricity congestion and constraint. DOE dismisses as being without merit challenges raised by the applicants for rehearing, citing extensive data analysis conducted in its 2006 National Interest Electric Transmission study, ample opportunity for public review and comment, and several other key reasons. The designation of national corridors was made in accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct).

March 7, 2008
The Department announces more stringent criteria for clothes washers and expands the categories of compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL) under the ENERGY STAR® label. Based on first-year projected sales data, approximately 1.9 million ENERGY STAR®-qualified clothes washers will be sold, saving American families up to $92.4 million annually on their water and utility bills. CFL products under the ENERGY STAR® label-which include new categories for CFLs that contain less mercury, new candelabra products, and more rigorous testing procedures-are expected to save Americans approximately $30 billion in utility costs over the next five years.

March 7, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces the selection of five new centers of excellence whose primary focus will be on the emerging field of predictive science. The following five universities will receive $17 million each over a five-year period under NNSA's Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP) agreement: California Institute of Technology: The Center for the Predictive Modeling and Simulation of High-Energy Density Dynamic Response of Materials; University of Michigan: The Center for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics (CRASH); Purdue University: The Center for Prediction of Reliability, Integrity and Survivability of Microsystems (PRISM); Stanford University: The Center for Predictive Simulations of Multi-Physics Flow Phenomena with Application to Integrated Hypersonic Systems; University of Texas at Austin: The Center for Predictive Engineering and Computational Sciences (PECOS).

March 12, 2008
Secretary Bodman releases a Policy Statement (pdf) on the management of DOE's excess uranium inventory, providing the framework within which DOE will make decisions concerning future use and disposition of its inventory. During the coming year, DOE will continue its ongoing program for downblending excess highly enriched uranium (HEU) into low enriched uranium (LEU), evaluate the benefits of enriching a portion of its excess natural uranium into LEU, and complete an analysis on enriching and/or selling some of its depleted uranium.

March 12, 2008
The Department announces that it will invest up to $13.7 million, over three years (Fiscal Years 2008 - 2010), for 11 university-led projects that will focus on developing advanced solar photovoltaic (PV) technology manufacturing processes and products. Combined with a minimum university and industry cost share of 20%, up to $17.4 million will be invested in these projects.

March 12, 2008
Deputy Administrators William Tobey and Robert Smolen of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) testify before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on NNSA's Fiscal Year 2009 budget request for nuclear nonproliferation and defense programs. NNSA Assistant Deputy Administrator Jan Cerveny testifies before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on nonproliferation research and development efforts.

March 14, 2008
President Bush, answering questions following a talk at the Economic Club of New York, notes that the nation's "energy policy hadn't been very wise up to now." He stresses diversification, but notes that it will "not happen overnight."

March 18, 2008
The Department releases an Engineering and Technology Roadmap (pdf), which details initiatives aimed at reducing the technical risks and uncertainties associated with cleaning up Cold War era nuclear waste over the next ten years. The Roadmap also outlines strategies to minimize such risks and proposes how these strategies would be implemented. The Roadmap consists of thirteen strategic initiatives that address anticipated technical risks and uncertainties in the following six areas: waste processing; groundwater and soil remediation; deactivation and decommissioning and facility engineering; spent nuclear fuel; challenging materials; and integration and cross-cutting initiatives. The Fiscal Year 2007 House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Report directed DOE to complete the study.

March 19, 2008
The House Armed Services Committee announces nominations for members of a bipartisan commission established by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 to examine U.S. strategic posture and the appropriate role of nuclear weapons. The review will include an assessment of the role of nonproliferation programs and missile defenses in U.S. strategic policies. Recommendations are due to Congress and the President by December 1, 2008.

March 19, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces the successful conversion of the VVR-SM research reactor at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Uzbekistan from highly enriched uranium fuel to low enriched uranium fuel. Unlike the highly enriched uranium fuel, the low enriched fuel cannot be used readily in a nuclear weapon and is less desirable to terrorists or criminals. The operation was conducted in cooperation with the government of Uzbekistan.

March 19, 2008
The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies issues a Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, Second Report. A public-private effort consisting of DOE, the Detroit Three automakers, and five major energy companies, the partnership seeks to develop technologies for more fuel-efficient automobiles and to investigate the feasibility of hydrogen-based vehicles. The NRC report finds that the partnership "has made significant progress in most research areas . . . . [but] several barriers hinder the program from achieving its full objectives." Nonetheless, the "potential benefits-reducing dependence on imported oil and minimizing harmful environmental effects-justify the cost of the research." The report also calls for the development of a "strategic reassessment of the overall program plan that accounts for new national and changed research priorities."

March 20, 2008
The Department announces plans to award nearly $3.5 million in a grant to the X PRIZE Foundation for the national education and outreach component of the Automotive X PRIZE (AXP) Education Program. The newly launched AXP will award at least $10 million in privately funded prizes to teams that can engineer clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 miles per gallon, or its energy equivalent fuel efficiency, and win a cross-country stage race.

March 20, 2008
The Department issues a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (BEA) for violations of DOE's worker safety and health regulations. BEA is the managing and operating contractor for DOE's Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The PNOV cites a series of violations related to two events affecting worker safety and heath that occurred at INL in 2007. Violations include failures to identify and assess workplace hazards; establish controls to prevent and abate hazards; provide adequate training and information; adhere to procedures; and comply with fire protection and emergency response requirements.

March 21, 2008
Vice President Dick Cheney, on a visit to the Middle East, meets with Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and they "review the situation in the international oil markets as it exists today."

March 26, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration announces the implementation of a new personnel management system designed to attract and retain the best and brightest workers in the national security field. Known as "pay-banding," this pilot project will focus on pay-for-performance rather than pay increases based on longevity.

March 28, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in keynote remarks at the New Frontiers in Energy Summit 2008 in Denver, announces that DOE will make available up to $2.4 million to advance solar energy in 12 cities across the country selected as Solar America Cities. The cities- Denver, CO; Houston, TX; Knoxville, TN; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; San Antonio, TX; San Jose, CA; Santa Rosa, CA; and Seattle, WA-were chosen for their commitment and comprehensive approach to the deployment of solar technologies and the development of sustainable solar infrastructures. Combined with industry cost share and funding from each city, total investment in all 12 cities is estimated at $12.1 million. This is the second round of Solar America Clities. The initial round of 13 cities was announced on June 20, 2007.

March 28, 2008
The Department announces the award of $18.3 million to four industry teams to further develop plans for an initial nuclear fuel recycling center and advanced recycling reactor as part of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). The awards include $5.9 million to EnergySolutions; $5.7 million to the International Nuclear Recycling Alliance, led by AREVA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; $5.5 million to General Electric-Hitachi; and $1.3 million to General Atomics. The firms will further develop detailed studies that build on conceptual design studies, technology development roadmaps, and business plans submitted earlier the year by the four industry consortia.

March 31, 2008
The Department announces that Under Secretary Clarence "Bud" Albright, Jr., is traveling to New Delhi, India, as part of the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue to highlight ongoing cooperation between the U.S. and India to ensure safe, reliable, clean, affordable and diverse energy supplies.

March 31, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) announces that the U.S. nuclear industry supplied a record 806.5 billion kilowatthours of electricity in 2007. National total nuclear generation was 2.4 percent higher than in 2006, and 2.3 percent higher than in the previous record year, 2004. The capacity factor (the amount of power actually generated compared with the maximum amount that could be generated) for 2007 was 91.8 percent, exceeding the previous record capacity factor of 90.3 percent in 2002.

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April 1, 2008
The Department announces new ENERGY STAR® criteria for water heaters, the first in the history of the program. According to DOE projections, by the end of the fifth year in effect, the new water heater criteria are expected to save Americans approximately $780 million in utility costs and avoid 4.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Water heating currently represents up to 17 percent of national residential energy consumption, making it the third largest energy user in homes, behind heating and cooling, and kitchen appliances.

April 2, 2008
The Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at an awards ceremony in Washington D.C., honor 76 businesses, 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 reducing energy needs and carbon emissions.

April 3, 2008
The Department announces that Australia has launched the first carbon sequestration project in the southern hemisphere with the help of technology developed by DOE researchers. The $36 million Otway Basin Pilot Project is one of 19 sequestration projects endorsed by the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, an international climate change initiative that focuses on the development of technologies to cost-effectively capture and sequester CO2.

April 3, 2008
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) testifies before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, on potential options for dealing with DOE's depleted uranium tails. Options include selling the tails "as is," re-enriching the tails, or storing them indefinitely. Based on February 2008 uranium prices and enrichment costs and assuming sufficient re-enrichment capacity is available, GAO estimates the value of DOE's tails at$7.6 billion.

April 4, 2008
Under Secretary of Energy Clarence "Bud" Albright, Jr., co-chairs the fourth meeting of the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue with Indian Foreign Minister Shivshankar Menon in New Delhi, India. The meeting concludes a week of bilateral U.S.-India energy discussions aimed at strengthening and expanding ongoing collaboration in research and development of gas hydrates and other clean energy sources, increasing energy efficiency, and promoting policies to ensure affordable and reliable supplies of energy.

April 4, 2008
The Department announces that the royalty-in-kind fill program for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) will continue and issues a solicitation seeking contracts to exchange up to 13 million barrels of royalty oil from federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico for crude oil that meets the specifications of the SPR.

April 6, 2008
President Bush meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on the Black Sea. They issue a Strategic Framework Declaration that identifies areas of cooperation, including preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The Declaration affirms the July 3, 2007 Declaration on joint actions to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime and promote the expansion of nuclear energy without the spread of sensitive fuel cycle technologies; the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership; the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, which brings together 67 participating countries in efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons; initiatives to create reliable access to nuclear fuel without proliferation risk; signature of and efforts to bring into force an Agreement on Cooperation in Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy; and completion by the end of 2008 of the agreed-to nuclear security upgrades under the two Presidents' Bratislava Nuclear Security Initiative.

April 7, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in a speech at DOE's Energy Information Administration 2008 Energy Conference, highlights the importance of markets and dependable, verifiable energy information and analysis, and the role such information plays in furthering the nation's energy security.

April 7, 2008
The Department announces it will invest up to $5.2 million in basic research projects with 12 universities from across the country. Universities selected will pair with a DOE national laboratory to maximize expertise. The research projects, ranging from advanced solar cells to hydrogen energy systems, are a part of DOE's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a federal-state partnership program designed to lead the world in meeting the nation's growing energy needs through increased competition in energy-related research and development across the nation.

April 9, 2008
Secretary Bodman, appearing with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, delivers remarks at Fenway Park, home of Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox. Secretary Bodman recognizes the progress that the city of Boston and its partners have made in accelerating solar technology deployment and integration as one of DOE's Solar America Cities.

April 9, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases a report on Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets 2007, which estimates that total Federal energy-specific subsidies and support to all forms of energy were $16.6 billion for Fiscal Year 2007. The amount is more than double the level, in real terms (2007 dollars), of the estimated $8.0 billion shown in the last EIA report on subsidies completed in May 2000. Federal electricity subsidies and support per unit of production (dollars per megawatthour) varied widely by fuel in FY 2007. Coal-based synfuels (refined coal) that are eligible for the alternative fuels tax credit, solar power, and wind power received the highest subsidies per unit of generation, ranging from more than $23 to nearly $30 per megawatthour of generation. The smallest subsidies on a per unit basis were for coal, natural gas and petroleum liquids, and municipal solid waste, all at less than $0.45 per megawatthour of generation.

April 10, 2008
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), presumptive Republican nominee for president, calls for a stop to filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). "The SPR is intended to offset the impact of physical disruption of oil supplies," McCain says. "But with oil at over $100 a barrel and an adequate supply in the SPR, it is time to suspend purchases. This will lessen worldwide demand for oil, and if the classic laws of supply and demand hold, we should see a welcome decrease in the price of oil." Both Democratic candidates, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), also have called for a halt in filling the SPR.

April 11, 2008
The Department announces plans to issue loan guarantee solicitations in two stages during the summer for up to $38.5 billion for projects that employ advanced technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. This will mark the second and third rounds of solicitations for DOE's Loan Guarantee program.

April 11, 2008
The Department announces up to $4 million in funding available to U.S. universities for research and development of cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies. Combined with a university cost share of 20 percent, up to $5 million would be invested in these projects.

April 15, 2008
Senator John McCain calls for a suspension of federal taxes on gasoline. "I propose that the federal government suspend all taxes on gasoline now paid by the American people, from Memorial Day to Labor Day of this year," McCain says. "The effect will be an immediate economic stimulus, taking a few dollars off the price of a tank of gas every time a family, a farmer, or trucker stops to fill up." McCain also reiterates his call for DOE to halt filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

April 16, 2008
President Bush, in a speech in the Rose Garden at the White House with members of his Cabinet present, discusses climate change and announces a new national goal of stopping U.S. greenhouse gas emissions growth by 2025. The President stresses the need to develop and incentivize the use of clean energy technologies to help meet the goal.

April 16, 2008
The White House indicates that there are no plans to halt filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). "We think that the effect on prices, as we have said, is negligible when you're talking about filling the SPR,'' Press Secretary Dana Perino says. "We think that continuing to do so at a responsible level, which we think we're doing, is important especially as you start to plan for emergencies, which is what the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for."

April 17, 2008
The Department announces the members of its newly-established Electricity Advisory Committee. The 30 inaugural members will serve one- or two-year terms and include some of the nation's top public and private sector leaders in electricity policy, planning and operations. The Committee was established to provide counsel to DOE on long-range planning and priorities for the modernization of the nation's electricity delivery infrastructure.

April 17, 2008
The Department announces it is seeking public and industry input on how to best achieve the goals and meet the requirements for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) demonstration project work at DOE's Idaho National Laboratory. DOE issues a Request for Information and Expressions of Interest from prospective participants and interested parties on utilizing cutting-edge high temperature gas reactor technology in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling nuclear energy to replace fossil fuels used by industry for process heat.

April 17, 2008
The Department issues a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) inviting universities, national laboratories, and industry to compete for up to $15 million to advance nuclear technologies closing the nuclear fuel cycle. These projects will provide necessary data and analyses to further U.S. nuclear fuel cycle technology development, as part of DOE's Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), the domestic technology R&D component of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). Studies resulting from this FOA will include computing and simulation of spent fuel technology, advanced fuel systems analyses and properties of future waste forms.

April 17, 2008
The Department announces the issuance of a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $7 million in federal funding over two years (Fiscal Year 2008 - 2009) in advanced research and development in converting non-food based biomass to advance clean and affordable biofuels. Combined with private minimum cost share of 20 percent, up to $8.75 million would be invested in this research effort.

April 18, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in a speech at DOE's Biomass 2008: Fueling Our Future conference in Alexandria, Virginia, highlights the importance of developing clean, affordable, and sustainable biofuels to meet the President's goal of stopping the growth in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The Secretary also announces the competitive selection of three projects in which DOE plans to invest up to $86 million over four years (Fiscal Year 2008 - 2011) to support the development of small-scale cellulosic biorefineries in Old Town, Maine; Vonore, Tennessee; and Washington County, Kentucky. The three small-scale biorefinery projects will use a wide variety of feedstocks and test novel conversion technologies to provide data necessary to commercialize full-scale biorefinery technologies.

April 18, 2008
The Department and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) sign a Memorandum of Understanding (pdf) agreeing to collaborate on developing and exchanging information on advanced nuclear fuel cycle technologies. The joint effort furthers DOE's ongoing nuclear research and development activities and will help to determine the best path forward for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).

April 21, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Russia's Rosatom, under a cooperative program, successfully complete the first shutdown of a weapons-grade plutonium production reactor in over 15 years in Seversk, Russia. The first U.S.-aided shutdown of a plutonium production reactor in the former Soviet Union happens eight months ahead of schedule.

April 21, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in remarks at the opening ceremony for the Cheniere Energy Sabine Pass LNG Regasification Facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, discusses the importance of constructing additional LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals elsewhere in the U.S. The Sabine Pass facility is the first domestic onshore regasification terminal built in more than 25 years.

April 21, 2008
Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Kevin Kolevar announces the Department's decision to invest up to $50 million over five years (Fiscal Years 2008 - 2012), subject to appropriations from Congress, in nine demonstration projects competitively selected to increase efficiency in the nation's electricity grid. The Renewable and Distributed Systems Integration (RDSI) technologies demonstrated in these projects aim to reduce peak load electricity demand by at least 15 percent at distribution feeders-the power lines delivering electricity to consumers.

April 21, 2008
The Department's Savannah River Site (SRS) begins accepting (pdf) radioactive salt waste solution at the Actinide Removal Process (ARP) and Modular Caustic Side Solvent Extraction Unit (MCU) facilities where the salt waste will be decontaminated. The salt waste fills approximately 90 percent of the tank space in the SRS tank farms, which consist of 49 high-level waste tanks that currently contain about 36 million gallons of waste. The facilities will process a projected 2 million gallons of waste through 2013 when the larger-scale Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) is scheduled for startup.

April 21, 2008
Senator Hillary Clinton says that she would "consider a gas tax holiday, if we could make up the lost revenues from the Highway Trust Fund."

April 22, 2008
The Department launches a new internet feature which provides tips to consumers on how to make every day Earth Day by making smart energy choices to save money while protecting the environment. The interactive web page shows consumers steps to use less energy with household electronics, lighting, and appliances to save on monthly bills and how to avoid wasting energy by improving the energy efficiency of their homes and cars.

April 22, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in remarks at an Earth Day ceremony at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, announces a joint DOE and Department of Defense campaign-ENERGY STAR® Operation Change Out-to challenge military bases nationwide to change their incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in on-base housing.

April 22, 2008
The Federal Environmental Executive releases the 2004-06 Biennial Report to the President on the federal government's environmental and energy efficiency accomplishments. The report shows that federal agencies have increased their use of renewable energy and alternative fuel vehicles and continue to purchase more energy efficient and environmentally friendly products.

April 22, 2008
The two-day North American Leaders' Summit in New Orleans concludes with President Bush, Mexico's President Felipe Calderon, and Canada's Prime Minster Stephen Harper issuing a Joint Statement. The three leaders ask their ministers to "renew and focus" their work in five priority areas identified at the 2007 summit held at Montebello, Canada. In the area of energy security and the environment, they call for the development of a "framework for harmonization of energy efficiency standards, and sharing technical information to improve the North American energy market." They call for the creation of "an outlook for biofuels" for the region, work to enhance electricity networks, and the more efficient use of energy through increased fuel efficiency of vehicles. They note that they are "exchanging information and exploring opportunities for joint collaboration to further reduce barriers to expanding clean energy technologies, especially carbon dioxide capture and storage to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions."

April 22, 2008
Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters proposes a 25 percent increase in fuel efficiency standards over five years for passenger vehicles and light trucks.

April 22, 2008
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issues a report on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (pdf). The GAO notes that DOE originally planned a small engineering-scale demonstration of advanced recycling technologies being developed by DOE national laboratories. The current GNEP strategic plan favors working with industry to demonstrate the latest commercially available technology in full-scale facilities. The GAO recommends that DOE reassess its approach.

April 24, 2008
White House Press Secretary Dana Perino announces that administration officials have briefed select Congressional committees on Syria's efforts to build a covert nuclear reactor in its eastern desert capable of producing plutonium. The Press Secretary states that "we are convinced, based on a variety of information, that North Korea assisted Syria's covert nuclear activities. We have good reason to believe that reactor, which was damaged beyond repair on Sept. 6 of last year, was not intended for peaceful purposes. Carefully hidden from view, the reactor was not configured for such purposes. In defiance of its international obligations, Syria did not inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the construction of the reactor, and, after it was destroyed, the regime moved quickly to bury evidence of its existence. This cover-up only served to reinforce our confidence that this reactor was not intended for peaceful activities." A senior administration official briefs reporters with the help of two senior intelligence officials.

April 24, 2008
Six U.S. Senators-Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)-send a letter to President Bush calling on him to use his leverage with the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase oil supplies or risk Congress holding up multi-million dollar arms deals with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other OPEC members. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino notes that the senators are "barking up the wrong tree." She says that "arms deals are not favors that we do for our friends, they are in our national strategic interests and something that we work closely with Congress on."

April 24, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces, during a four-day meeting in Cairo with Russian officials to discuss continued progress on nuclear nonproliferation and security initiatives, that the U.S. and Russia have eliminated 10 metric tons (22,000 pounds) of Russian weapons-usable nuclear material. This material, equivalent to 400 nuclear weapons, was successfully converted by downblending highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) under a joint U.S.-Russian program.

April 28, 2008
The Department announces a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) valued at $7.3 million for expertise in the concept of nuclear fuel "Deep-Burn" in which plutonium and higher transuranics recycled from spent nuclear fuel are destroyed. The funding opportunity seeks to establish the technological foundations that will support the role of the very-high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor (VHTR) in the nuclear fuel cycle-which is one of the prototype reactors being researched/developed under DOE's Generation IV Nuclear power program.

April 29, 2008
President Bush leads off his press conference with a discussion on energy issues and Congress. High energy prices, the President notes, are "like a tax increase on the working people" with gas prices having gone up by $1.40 per gallon over the past 18 months. "I've repeatedly submitted proposals to help address these problems," he observes. "Yet time after time, Congress chose to block them. . . . Instead of increasing costs and increasing new roadblocks to domestic energy production, Congress needs to clear away obstacles to more affordable, more reliable energy here at home." The press then asks the President questions on implementing a summer gas tax moratorium, persuading Saudi Arabia to reconsider output levels during his upcoming visit, the relationship between high food prices and biofuels, whether the world is closing in on peak oil production, increasing calls to stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and short-term solutions to high energy prices.

April 29, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in remarks at the NAS-NAE (National Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Engineering) National Convocation, discusses the importance of science and math education in advancing U.S. economic competitiveness and increasing energy security.

April 29, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in an interview, says calls for suspending the federal gas tax are a "no-win proposal." The Secretary notes that money raised by the tax pays for the maintenance and construction of federal highways.

April 29, 2008
Senator Barack Obama says that he does not support a gas tax holiday. "This is an idea that, when all is said and done, will save you-at most-half a tank of gas over the course of the entire summer," Obama notes. "That's about $28. It's an idea that some economists think might actually raise gas prices. And without a plan to pay for it right away, it means that the money would come directly out of the fund we use to pay for construction projects."

April 30, 2008
Under Secretary Clarence "Bud" Albright announces the issuance of the Solar Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $60 million in funding over five years (Fiscal Years 2008-2012), which includes $10 million in FY 2008 appropriations and $10 million in the FY 2009 budget request, to support the development of low-cost Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology.

April 30, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in remarks at the U.S.A.I.D. Higher Education Summit for Global Development, discusses the critical link between science education and the needed science and technological innovation to provide the solutions to the challenges ahead, especially in the energy arena.

April 30, 2008
Deputy Administrator William Tobey of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) testifies before the Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee on NNSA's Fiscal Year 2009 budget request for nuclear nonproliferation.

April 30, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) unveils a new secure information network-the Enterprise Secure Network based in Nevada-that will allow for more secure and reliable cyber-connections between all the NNSA sites.

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May 1, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) announces Energy in Brief, a new series that explains important energy topics using plain language.

May 2, 2008
President Bush, in remarks at World Wide Systems, Inc., in Maryland Heights, Missouri, discusses the economy, trade, and energy issues. On high energy prices, he notes that "it's taken us a while to get in this fix, and therefore it's going to take us a while to get out of the fix. But I want to remind you that an energy policy that basically prohibits America from finding oil in our own land is an energy policy that has led to high gasoline prices."

May 2, 2008
The Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) announces (pdf) the award of a contract to a joint venture between Lydig Construction Inc. of Spokane, Washington, and George A. Grant Inc. of Richland, Washington, to complete the nearly 200,000-square-foot Physical Sciences Facility on the PNNL campus in Richland. The contract is valued at $106 million.

May 5, 2008
Santa Monica High School from Santa Monica, California, wins the 2008 DOE National Science Bowl. Teams representing 67 high schools from across the U.S. competed in the National Finals. At the awards ceremony, Secretary Bodman discusses the importance of science education.

May 5, 2008
The Department announces up to $7.5 million in federal funding for research and development to help advance the viability and cost-competitiveness of advanced water power systems. Through this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), DOE seeks partnerships with U.S. industry and universities to develop innovative and effective technologies capable of harnessing water power energy resources, including ocean wave, tidal, current and other water-based resources.

May 6, 2008
The U.S.-Russian bilateral Agreement for Cooperation in the field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (also known as a 123 Agreement) is signed in Moscow, Russia. The agreement creates the necessary legal basis for expanded cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy provides a framework for potential commercial sales of civil nuclear commodities to Russia by U.S companies. It also paves the way for further cooperation under both bilateral and multinational programs and initiatives on nuclear energy and nonproliferation.

May 6, 2008
The Department announces awards of more than $126.6 million to the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WESTCARB) and the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) for DOE's fifth and sixth large-scale carbon sequestration projects. These industry partnerships, which are part of DOE's Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, will conduct large volume tests in California and Ohio to demonstrate the ability of a geologic formation to safely, permanently, and economically store more than one million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). The industry partners will provide $56.6 million in cost-shared funds.

May 6, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) issues its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (pdf). The EIA reports that oil prices "increased from $101 to $120 per barrel over the first 3 weeks of April as supply disruptions in Nigeria and the North Sea and continuing strong demand growth in the emerging market countries pressured oil markets. Prices, which averaged $72 per barrel in 2007, are projected to average $110 per barrel in 2008 and $103 per barrel in 2009. These projections are about $9 per barrel higher than the projections in April's Outlook (pdf). The EIA notes that the "oil supply system continues to operate at near capacity and remains vulnerable to both actual and perceived supply disruptions. . . . The combination of rising global demand, fairly normal seasonal inventory patterns, slow gains in non-OPEC supply, and low levels of available surplus production capacity is providing firm support for prices."

May 7, 2008
The Department releases a draft Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit public input on the demonstration of multiple commercial-scale Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) or other clean coal power plants with cutting-edge carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology under DOE's restructured FutureGen approach. The restructured approach aims to accelerate the near-term deployment of advanced clean coal technology by equipping new IGCC or other clean coal commercial power plants-that generate at least 300 megawatts of power-with CCS technology and, with multiple projects funded, is expected to at least double the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestered compared to the concept announced in 2003.

May 7, 2008
The price of oil closes at a record $123.53 per barrel. Democrats in Congress unveil the Consumers First Energy Act. Provisions include a 25 percent windfall profits tax on oil companies, a rollback of existing tax breaks for oil and gas companies worth $17 billion over 10 years, an authorization for the U.S. attorney general to bring price collusion charges against OPEC members, and a suspension of filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until the price of crude oil fell back to $75 a barrel. "The Bush administration's oil-friendly policies have led us down the path of the most significant energy crisis we have had in decades," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tells reporters. Republicans offer a counter proposal that would increase U.S. oil production by opening protected areas on the Outer Continental Shelf and in Alaska to oil and gas drilling. "Americans don't need more taxes and more investigations. They need more oil and lower prices," says Senator Pete V. Domenici (R-NM). "Yet nothing in the Democrats' plan will produce a single drop of oil."

May 8, 2008
The Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Washington State University (WSU) dedicate a new building for the advancement of biomass research. Researchers at the $24.8 million Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory will focus on biofuels that are more efficient to produce and more compatible with the existing fuels infrastructure than today's biofuels. The research will advance conversion technologies that can be used with a variety of feedstocks, including non-edible cellulosic biomass and crops specifically grown for fuel. The new facility is located on the WSU Tri-Cities campus.

May 9, 2008
The Department announces that it has completed the 500th Energy Saving Assessment (ESA) at the nation's largest industrial facilities. These assessments have helped companies identify opportunities to save over an estimated 80 trillion British Thermal Units of natural gas-roughly equivalent to the natural gas used in over one million American homes-more than $800 million in potential energy savings. If all of the recommendations from the assessments conducted are fully implemented by the industrial facilities, DOE estimates that 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be saved annually.

May 9, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has initiated upgrades to security at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) after a recent security assessment identified several areas needing improvement. Over the past seven weeks, a routine, independent assessment of the security programs was conducted at LLNL by DOE's Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS), including a "force-on-force" exercise, where a tactical security team plays the role of an attacking force in a simulation drill. Following the initial HSS debrief, NNSA sent a team of headquarters and field security experts to assess the laboratory's response to the inspection. Although the inspectors noted several very positive areas, there were other areas requiring corrective action.

May 9, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces it has awarded $1.7 million to fund nuclear nonproliferation research and development (R&D) at small businesses across the U.S. The research will support and strengthen the U.S. response to threats to U.S. national security posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

May 12, 2008
The Department releases a first-of-its kind report (pdf) that examines the technical feasibility of harnessing wind power to provide up to 20 percent of the nation's total electricity needs by 2030. Entitled 20 Percent Wind Energy by 2030, the report identifies requirements to achieve this goal including reducing the cost of wind technologies, siting new transmission infrastructure, and enhancing domestic manufacturing capability.

May 12, 2008
Senator John McCain, in his first major speech in the presidential campaign on climate change, calls for a "cap-and-trade system" on industrial greenhouse gas emissions. "By the year 2012," the Senator notes, "we will seek a return to 2005 levels of emission, by 2020, a return to 1990 levels, and so on until we have achieved at least a reduction of sixty percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050." Senator Barack Obama has also called for a cap-and-trade system, with a return to 1990 levels by 2020 and eighty percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

May 13, 2008
Secretary Bodman, following remarks given the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago, meets with Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning and other senior level officials, including Energy Minister Conrad Enill. Discussions focused on ways the two countries can work together to increase energy security and enhance the protection of critical energy infrastructure assets. The U.S. is Trinidad and Tobago's largest market for liquefied natural gas (LNG), importing nearly 60 percent of the LNG exported from the country.

May 13, 2008
Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), gives remarks at the National Defense University Congressional Breakfast Series on maintaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

May 14, 2008
The Senate passes H.R. 6022, the "Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act of 2008," which suspends temporarily the acquisition of crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, by a vote of 97 to 1. On May 13, the Housed passed the bill by a vote of 385 to 21.

May 15, 2008
The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership's (GNEP's) second Steering Group meeting concludes a two-day meeting in the Kingdom of Jordan hosted by the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission. Representatives from twenty-eight countries and three intergovernmental organizations attend. The Department announces continued progress, noting that the Steering Group has discussed the formation of a third Working Group on the development of grid-appropriate reactors in order to promote the development of advanced, more proliferation-resistant nuclear power reactors appropriate for the needs and capabilities of countries with limited resources or small and medium electric power grids.

May 15, 2008
The Senate passes the Food, Conservation and Energy Act by a vote of 81 to 15, a day after the House passed it 318 to 106. The farm bill will cost an estimated $307 billion over five years, with the energy section of the bill costing $870 million over five years. The bill will create and fund a new loan-guarantee program for cellulosic biorefineries, guaranteeing up to 80 percent of a project up to a maximum of $250 million. The bill provides $320 million for the program. The bill subsidizes biomass crops and provides $35 million to help existing biorefineries convert to cellulosic production. The bill's tax package will provide a new $403-million incentive for cellulosic biofuels. The corn-based ethanol blender's tax credit will be reduced from 51 cents per gallon to 45 cents per gallon beginning in 2009. The bill extends the 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol.

May 16, 2008
President Bush, on a five-day visit to the Middle East, meets with King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia on the 75th anniversary of the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. The two leaders complete four "critical agreements" to strengthen the protection of energy resources, enhance peaceful nuclear cooperation, broaden the fight against global terrorism, and bolster nonproliferation. The two leaders and their aides also discuss oil. The President says that both consumers and producers need to be doing all that they can do to deal with this problem. The Saudis reiterate their willingness to put on the oil market whatever oil is necessary to meet the demand.

May 16, 2008
Saudi Arabia announces that it has increased oil production by 300,000 barrels per day, bringing total daily production to 9.45 million barrels per day.

May 16, 2008
The Department announces it will not sign contracts this year for the receipt and transportation of up to 13 million barrels of crude oil to the nation's strategic petroleum reserve sites (SPR). DOE received bids on May 13 in response to a solicitation issued in April for delivery of royalty oil to the U.S.' crude oil reserves from July through December of this year.

May 16, 2008
The Department announces that it will hold six regional technical workshops across the country, to seek input on available transmission congestion data to be considered during preparation of the 2009 National Transmission Congestion Study. The study-as directed by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct)-is intended to provide detailed analysis of the state of transmission capacity across the U.S., and to identify those geographic areas requiring additional attention to transmission congestion and constraint.

May 16, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces the successful removal from Latvia of 14.4 kilograms of Soviet-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) in "spent" nuclear fuel. The spent HEU was transported to a secure Russian nuclear facility by rail, in secret and under secure conditions with the cooperation of several international organizations. NNSA oversaw the removal.

May 16, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has significantly improved one of its tools used to certify the reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile by adding four high energy laser beam lines to its Omega laser system. The system, located at the University of Rochester in New York, is used to generate extreme temperature and pressure conditions, approaching those existing in nuclear explosions. The system is now made up of NNSA's original Omega laser, which has been operational since 1995, and the new Omega EP, or extended performance, laser.

May 17, 2008
President Bush tells reporters that he is "pleased" Saudi Arabia has increased oil production by 300,000 barrels per day, but it is "not enough-it's something, but it doesn't solve our problem. Our problem in America gets solved when we aggressively go for domestic exploration. Our problem in America gets solved if we expand our refining capacity, promote nuclear energy, and continue our strategy for the advancement of alternative energies, as well as conservation."

May 19, 2008
President Bush signs into law H.R. 6022, the "Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act of 2008," which suspends temporarily the acquisition of crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

May 19, 2008
The Department releases a funding opportunity announcement calling on U.S. colleges and universities to propose new projects to enhance the long-term use of coal. The announcement launches the 30th year of DOE's University Coal Research (UCR) program, the Department's longest-running student-teacher research grant program. The program will make available $2.4 million to fund projects with a maximum of $300,000 per project.

May 19, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that the Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) facility, which is used to assess and certify the aging U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without underground nuclear testing, is now fully operational. DARHT, located at DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory, produces four-frame x-ray movies of very rapid events, like explosions, which take place in millionths of a second. It produces x-ray (or radiographic) images from two perpendicular angles (making it "dual-axis" and allowing for a three dimensional picture) of a nuclear weapons component as it is subjected to the extreme pressures of an implosion in a hydrodynamic test. (Hydrotests are high-explosive-driven experiments that assess the performance and safety of nuclear weapons. Under these test conditions, the behavior of solid materials becomes similar to liquids, hence the term "hydrodynamic.")

May 20, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases preliminary estimates indicating that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels increased by 1.6 percent in 2007, from 5,888 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2006 to 5,984 in 2007. The economy, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), grew by 2.2 percent and energy demand rose by 1.7 percent indicating that energy intensity (energy use per unit of GDP) fell by 0.5 percent. Carbon dioxide intensity (carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP) also fell by about 0.5 percent. Factors that drove the emissions increase included weather conditions that increased the demand for heating and cooling services and a higher carbon intensity of electricity supply. Total U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have grown by 19.4 percent since 1990. During the same period, the carbon dioxide intensity of the economy fell by 26.6 percent or 1.8 percent per year. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions account for over 80 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

May 21, 2008
The Department announces that Areva Federal Services and NAC International have been awarded contracts for the design, licensing, and demonstration of the Transportation, Aging, and Disposal (TAD) canister system. The two contracts have a total value of up to $13.8 million if all options are exercised by DOE and are each for a term of up to five years. The TAD canister will be the primary means for packaging spent nuclear fuel for transportation to and disposal in the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain. DOE estimates that up to 90 percent of the spent nuclear fuel received at Yucca Mountain will arrive in TAD canisters that will be permanently sealed at utility sites. Any spent nuclear fuel not transported in TADs will be placed in the canisters upon arrival at Yucca Mountain.

May 21, 2008
Secretary Bodman announces that Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi, is the first place winner of Challenge X, in which 17 university teams from across the U.S. and Canada competed to reengineer a General Motors (GM) Chevrolet Equinox Crossover SUV with advanced powertrain configurations. The winner achieved high fuel economy and low emissions, all while maintaining driver comfort and vehicle performance. DOE, GM, and Natural Resources Canada also kick off EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, a competition set to begin in the fall of 2008 that will challenge 17 university teams to re-engineer a Saturn VUE.

May 21, 2008
The U.S. deposits its instrument of ratification for the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) with the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The CSC is an international treaty developed to create a global legal framework for allocating responsibility for compensating nuclear damage resulting from a nuclear incident and for assuring, in the unlikely event of such an incident, the prompt availability of meaningful compensation with a minimum of litigation and other burdens. "Ratification of the CSC by the United States marks a major milestone towards the creation of a global nuclear liability regime," Secretary Bodman notes.

May 21, 2008
President Bush vetoes H.R. 2419, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The House votes to override the veto the same day, and the Senate the following.

May 22, 2008
Under Secretary for Science Raymond Orbach announces (pdf) the closure of the National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX) construction project at DOE's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) due to "budget increases, schedule delays and continuing uncertainties." DOE determines that "PPPL's future as a world-leading center of fusion energy and plasma sciences is more assured by a renewed focus on the successful Spherical Torus confinement concept" and the Spherical Torus experiment (NSTX) at PPPL. The highest priority of the U.S. fusion program is participation in the international ITER burning plasma experiment, which is based on the tokamak concept. The Spherical Torus is closely related to the tokamak.

May 22, 2008
The Department announces the selection of nine projects for DOE's Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Core Technology Program portfolio that will address specific challenges in scaling up and integrating solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) into advanced central generation power plants. SECA fuel cells enable efficient and economic systems for carbon capture and emit practically no pollutants (nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides) while consuming much less water than other advanced power generation technologies.

May 26, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in remarks given at the Catholic University of Portugal's renewable energy seminar during a two-day trip to Portugal, discusses the aggressive development and deployment of renewable energy and other alternative energy technologies. Secretary Bodman, Portuguese Minister of Finance Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, and Portuguese Deputy Minister of Public Works, Transport, and Communications Paulo Campos also sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to further U.S.-Portugal cooperation to enhance security of critical infrastructure and combat nuclear proliferation and terrorism. The agreement, signed in Lisbon, is part of DOE's Megaports program-through its National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)-to enhance capabilities to deter, detect, and prohibit the illicit shipments of nuclear and other radioactive materials at key seaports around the world.

May 27, 2008
Secretary Bodman and Portuguese Economy Minister Manuel Pinho sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU), as part of their shared commitment to enhancing global energy security and addressing climate change through the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies. The MOU establishes a framework for collaboration on the policy, and scientific and technical aspects of wave energy generation.

May 27, 2008
The Department issues a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $130 million over three years, subject to Congressional appropriations, to advance the development and use of fuel cells for automotive, stationary, and portable power applications. DOE anticipates making up to 50 awards through this competitive funding opportunity, which is open to industry, universities, and national laboratories. With a minimum 20 percent private sector cost share for the R&D projects and a minimum 50 percent applicant cost share for the demonstration projects, the total DOE and private sector investment in advanced hydrogen fuel cell technologies under this funding opportunity may exceed $170 million.

May 28, 2008
The Proliferation Security Initiative Fifth Anniversary Senior Level Meeting is held in Washington with representatives of more than 80 nations in attendance. President Bush's National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley, in remarks to the group, discusses how the proliferation challenge is different in the 21st century and what needs to be done to meet it.

May 28, 2008
The Department announces it plans to contribute up to $2.3 million over three years, subject to annual appropriations, to identify areas in the western U.S. with vast renewable energy resources, and expedite the development and delivery of those resources to meet regional energy needs. This effort, part of the Western Renewable Energy Zones (WREZ) project, launched by the Western Governors' Association in cooperation with DOE, furthers DOE's ongoing efforts to address generation and transmission challenges through a regional approach.

May 29, 2008
The Department releases the 2007 edition of its Annual Report (pdf) on U.S. Wind Power Installation, Cost, and Performance Trends, which provides a comprehensive overview of developments in the rapidly evolving U.S. wind power market. The report finds that U.S. wind power capacity increased by 46 percent in 2007, with $9 billion invested in U.S. wind plants in 2007 alone, making the U.S. the fastest-growing wind power market in the world for the third straight year. The report also shows that wind is on a path to becoming a significant contributor to the U.S. power mix-wind projects accounted for 35 percent of all new U.S. electric generating capacity in 2007, and transmission facilities capable of generating a total of over 200 GW of wind power are in the early stages of development throughout the nation.

May 29, 2008
The Department announces that Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), LLC, has been selected as the tank operations contractor to store, retrieve and treat Hanford tank waste and close the tank farms at DOE's Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State. The contract is a cost-plus award-fee contract valued at approximately $7.1 billion over ten years (a five-year base period with options to extend it for up to five years).

May 29, 2008
The White House National Science and Technology Council releases a report (pdf) on the Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States. The report summarizes and integrates recent findings and assesses the present understanding of the impacts of climate change on key U.S. sectors, such as energy, water resources, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, and human health.

May 29, 2008
The Department and the Bureau of Land Management publish in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent (pdf) to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate the potential effects of utility-scale solar energy plants if they were built on federal lands in six Western states.

May 30, 2008
Associate Administrator Joseph Krol of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) gives remarks at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on "The Threat from Nuclear Terrorism."

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June 2, 2008
The Department announces a Memorandum of Understanding (pdf) between DOE and six leading wind industry turbine manufacturers: GE Energy, Siemens Power Generation, Vestas Wind Systems, Clipper Turbine Works, Suzlon Energy, and Gamesa Corporation. The two-year collaboration is designed to promote wind energy in the U.S. through advanced technology research and development and siting strategies aimed to advance industrial wind power manufacturing capabilities.

June 2, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer delivers remarks at the opening of GreenHunter Energy's biodiesel refinery, which will be the nation's single largest biodiesel refinery, producing 105 million gallons of "white-water" B100 biodiesel per year.

June 2, 2008
A federal judge orders Dow Chemical and Rockwell International, past contractors at DOE's former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production site, to pay $925 million to people whose property was contaminated by plutonium-bearing soil that was windblown off of the 6,000-acre site16 miles northwest of Denver. DOE indemnified both contractors under the Price-Anderson Act.

June 3, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in remarks at a press conference, announces submittal of a license application (LA) to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeking authorization to construct America's first repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The 8,600 page application describes DOE's plan to safely isolate spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in tunnels deep underground at Yucca Mountain. The LA is accompanied by a Final Environmental Impact Statement, as well as approximately 200 key supporting documents.

June 5, 2008
The Department announces it will defer approximately 2.1 million barrels of royalty-in-kind (RIK) exchange crude oil that had been scheduled for delivery to the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve sites (SPR) during the summer. The deferral action is consistent with recently enacted legislation, the "Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act of 2008," to negotiate deferral of deliveries to the maximum extent practicable.

June 5, 2008
The Department issues a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to CH2M Hill Hanford Group, Inc. (CHG) for nuclear safety violations. CHG is the tank operations contractor for the tank farms located at DOE's Hanford Site. The PNOV cites a series of violations that occurred on July 27, 2007, when waste being pumped out of tank S-102 spilled in the vicinity of the tank's retrieval pump. The proposed civil penalty of $302,500 is based on the significance of the violations, yet reflects substantial mitigation granted by DOE due to corrective actions taken by CHG to address the issues and prevent recurrence.

June 5, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that the second plutonium-producing reactor in Seversk, Russia, has been shut down ahead of schedule. The reactor shutdown, made possible by a joint program between NNSA and Russia's Rosatom, ends 43 years of weapons-grade plutonium production in Seversk, formerly the Russian secret city codenamed Tomsk-7. The Russian reactors were originally operated to produce weapons-grade plutonium with heat and electricity as a by-product from the early 1960s until 1993. Since 1993, the reactors have operated to provide heat and electricity for Seversk and nearby areas, and they produced weapons-grade plutonium as a by-product. Under the 1997 Plutonium Production Reactor Agreement between the U.S. and Russian Federation, this plutonium will not be used for weapons. NNSA and Rosatom are currently working to provide this replacement heat and electricity capacity so that the final reactor operating in Zheleznogorsk can be shut down on schedule, no later than 2010, permanently ceasing Russian weapons-grade plutonium production.

June 6, 2008
Democratic leaders in the Senate pull a major global warming cap-and-trade bill from the floor when they get only 48 votes in an effort to end a Republican-led filibuster. The bill would have required greenhouse gas emissions to be cut 18 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and almost 70 percent by 2050.

June 6, 2008
The price of oil rises by $10.75, the largest daily increase on record, to close at $138.54 per barrel.

June 7, 2008
Secretary Bodman and top government officials from China, India, Japan, and Korea discuss issues related to energy security challenges, emergency preparedness, investment climate, energy efficiency, and diversification at the Five-Country Energy Ministerial held in Aomori, Japan. The Secretary leads a session on global investment regimes, where he highlights the importance of open, transparent investment climates and predictable legal and regulatory systems to encourage investment in the next-generation of energy technologies that can help address growing energy demand and global climate change. A joint statement of the Five-Country Energy Ministerial is issued following the meeting. Earlier in the day, the Secretary and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Akira Amari sign a Statement of Intent (SOI) providing a framework for a joint scientific relationship between Japan and the U.S. to enhance and accelerate the research and development of methane hydrates in the Arctic and along the continental margin of Japan and the U.S. They also issue a joint statement on the progress of U.S.-Japan cooperation on the advancement of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

June 8, 2008
Secretary Bodman participates in the G8 countries, China, India, and Korea (G8+3) Energy Ministerial Meeting held in Aomori, Japan. The ministers discuss ways to enhance global energy security, while simultaneously combating global climate change. The Secretary highlights U.S. investments in next-generation clean and renewable energy technologies. He also encourages his G8+3 counterparts to promote market-oriented technology-driven solutions to allow continued global economic growth. The G8 leaders receive an International Energy Agency analysis outlining the progress of G8 members adhering to the St. Petersburg Energy Security Principles. Established at the 2006 St. Petersburg G8 Summit, the principles commit the G8 nations to abide by effective market and investment mechanisms, and to embrace transparent legal and regulatory frameworks. The G8+3 agree to establish the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC), which will serve as a high-level forum for facilitating a broad range of actions that yield high efficiency gains. The G8 and the G8+3 both issue joint statements.

June 9, 2008
President Bush, as he is about to depart on an eight-day trip to Europe, tells the press that one of the major issues for discussion is that "we're all too dependent on hydrocarbons" and "we must work to advance technologies to help us become less dependent." Noting that he will remind "our friends and allies" that the U.S has an opportunity to help increase the supply of oil on the market and take "pressure off gasoline for hardworking Americans," the President says that he has "proposed to the Congress that they open up ANWR, open up the Continental Shelf, and give this country a chance to help us through this difficult period by finding more supplies of crude oil, which will take the pressure off the price of gasoline."

June 9, 2008
Secretary Bodman announces that the new Roadrunner supercomputer, a collaborative effort between DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and IBM, is the fastest in the world. In a test run on May 27, Roadrunner achieved a long-sought supercomputing goal: performing more than a thousand trillion operations per second, or one petaflop. Roadrunner, to be housed at LANL, will be used to perform calculations that vastly improve the ability to certify that the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile is reliable without conducting underground nuclear tests.

June 10, 2008
President Bush, at the conclusion of the U.S.-European Summit in Kranj, Slovenia, tells the press that he has "assured the leaders we have a strategy that we think will be effective at addressing global climate change, and at the same time dependence on hydrocarbons, and that is through . . . a series of meetings, all aimed at getting the major economies to agree to a firm goal and to commit to strategies to achieve that goal." He notes that the U.S. "is more than willing to engage in those discussions" but adds that "I will just tell you that unless China and India are at the table, unless they agree to a goal, unless they agree to firm strategies to achieve that goal, then I don't see how any international agreement can be effective."

June 10, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) issues its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (pdf). The EIA reports that "oil prices were on a rollercoaster ride upwards over the last month, increasing from $113 to $133 per barrel over the first 3 weeks on May, then falling back to $122 on June 4 before surging to over $138 by June 6. Supply uncertainties in several oil exporting regions, coupled with healthy demand growth in the emerging market countries, continued to pressure oil markets. The overall picture of strong demand and tight supply is expected to continue."

June 11, 2008
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS) officials meet in St. Petersburg, Russia, to discuss progress and develop future plans for continued cooperation to prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials. In the last decade under NNSA's Second Line of Defense program, NNSA and FCS have worked together to equip over 200 of the Russian Federation's official international border crossings, including airports, seaports, railways, and land crossings with radiation detection equipment. FCS reports that in 2007 more than 65,000 alarms occurred at stationary radiation detection systems. Of those, Russian customs inspectors stopped over 1,000 attempts to illegally transport goods emitting high levels of ionizing radiation, including fissile and radioactive materials across the border.

June 11, 2008
Secretary Bodman and Secretary of Agriculture Edward T. Schafer send a letter responding to Senator Jeff Bingaman's (D-NM) May 12 letter concerning the current and projected impacts of biofuels on food and gasoline prices and other issues. In a fact sheet, released to the press with the letter, DOE notes that without biofuels gas prices would increase $.20 to $.35 per gallon. As for food prices, the fact sheet notes, biofuels account for only a small percentage of the increase in global food prices, and future biofuels-cellulosic biofuel feedstocks-will alleviate much of the concern about competition between food and fuel.

June 11, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in remarks at the USEA/Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Forum, discusses DOE's energy efficiency initiatives.

June 11, 2008
The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) is successfully launched aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Once operational, GLAST will survey the entire sky every three hours in an effort to discover new pulsars in our own galaxy, reveal powerful processes near supermassive black holes at the cores of thousands of active galaxies, and enable a search for signs of new physical laws. The GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership developed by NASA in collaboration with DOE.

June 12, 2008
President Bush, in response to a press question about the June 10 announcement that Saudi Arabia will host a meeting of oil producers and consumers in Jeddah on June 22 to discuss oil prices, states that "there will be a high-level official, for certain, from my administration" in attendance. "We ought to be at the table as producers," the President notes. "My call on Congress is to recognize the seriousness of the problem, and pass law that encourages exploration for oil and gas in the United States so that down the road an American President will go as a producer, not a consumer."

June 12, 2008
The Department announces the signing of a WorldWideScience Alliance agreement establishing a multilateral alliance to govern the rapidly growing online gateway to international scientific research information-WorldWideScience.org. Officials from organizations representing 38 countries, meeting in Seoul, Korea, agree to sustain and build upon joint efforts to provide a single, sophisticated point of access for diverse scientific resources and expertise from nations around the world.

June 12, 2008
The Department announces up to $30 million in funding over three years for three cost-shared Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) demonstration and development projects. The selected projects will accelerate the development of PHEVs capable of traveling up to 40 miles without recharging. The three projects are: General Motors-enhancement of Lithium-Ion battery packs, charging systems, powertrain development, vehicle integration, and vehicle validation; Ford Motor Company-identification of a pathway that accelerates commercial mass-production of PHEV; and General Electric-demonstration of PHEVs that relies upon an innovative dual-battery energy storage system capable of 40 miles accumulated electric driving range.

June 12, 2008
Assistant Deputy Administrator David Huizenga of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) testifies before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on NNSA's Megaports Initiative and its role in the Secure Freight Initiative (SFI).

June 13, 2008
President Bush, in response to an interview question about what can be done about the high price of oil, states that "there's either got to be more supply or less demand. And demand doesn't decline overnight. Although patterns and habits are beginning to change in the United States-you notice some of these car manufacturers are now announcing they're going to be manufacturing smaller automobiles. I think that people have got to recognize that-I mean, our policy in America has been robust on the development of new technologies and weak on finding enough hydrocarbons so that we can become less dependent on foreign sources of oil."

June 15, 2008
Under Secretary for Science Raymond L. Orbach attends the first-ever G8 Science and Technology Ministers' meeting in Okinawa, Japan. The ministers discuss research and development for the realization of a low carbon society, science and technology cooperation with developing countries, and cooperation in research and development resources.

June 16, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 4th Annual North America Forum, discusses energy cooperation between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

June 16, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration issues a preliminary notice of violation to Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12, LLC (B&W Y-12) for nuclear safety violations at the Y-12 National Security Complex. B&W Y-12 operates the Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The notice cites a series of violations related to a fire on March 15, 2007, that resulted from a chemical reaction between dry uranium chips and air while the chips were being transferred to a storage location at Y-12. The proposed civil penalty is $123,750.

June 17, 2008
The White House issues a Joint Statement of President Bush and the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev for the 4th Meeting of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

June 17, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agree to expand cooperation to prevent the smuggling of dangerous nuclear and radiological materials. The MOU outlines plans to install radiation detection equipment at multiple international points of entry and exit in Bulgaria.

June 18, 2008
The ITER Council, governing body for the multinational ITER project that will be the world's largest experimental fusion facility designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power, concludes (pdf) a two-day meeting in Aomori, Japan. The key item on the agenda was a discussion of the implications of the design review, for the scope, schedule, and cost of the project. The announced target date for first plasma is 2018. The seven ITER members are China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the U.S. The ITER facility is sited at Cadarache in the south of France. Europe will contribute almost half of the costs of its construction.

June 18, 2008
President Bush, joined by Secretary Bodman and Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, discusses energy issues in remarks in the White House Rose Garden. The President calls on Congress "to move forward with four steps to expand American oil and gasoline production": 1) lift the legislative ban on oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf, 2) remove the provision inserted in the Fiscal Year 2007 omnibus spending bill blocking oil shale leasing on federal lands and thus "expand oil production by tapping into the extraordinary potential of oil shale," 3) permit oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and 4) pass measures the President is proposing to expedite the refinery permitting process and thus "expand and enhance" refining capacity. "The proposals I've outlined will take years to have their full impact," the President notes, but "there is no excuse for delay. . . . If congressional leaders leave for the 4th of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why $4-a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act. And Americans will rightly ask how high oil -- how high gas prices have to rise before the Democratic-controlled Congress will do something about it."

June 18, 2008
Secretary Bodman, in an interview on CNBC, says that high prices will not persuade him to recommend tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. "The reserve is meant to be a protection for the American consuming public," the Secretary notes. "It was never meant to be a tool to combat high prices. So this is not something that I would intend, whatever price oil achieves, that I would recommend to the president that he make that judgment."

June 18, 2008
The Department issues a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $90 million over four years to advance the research, development, and demonstration of next-generation geothermal energy technology that will harness the earth's interior heat extracted from hot water or rocks. DOE has up to $10.5 million available for immediate award under this FOA, with the remainder subject to change and to Congressional appropriations. The FOA addresses the need for additional technical understanding of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) to accelerate the technology to a state of commercial readiness.

June 18, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer concludes participation in two days of meetings between senior U.S. and Chinese government officials as part of the fourth annual Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED IV) held in Annapolis, Maryland. Following the meetings, the U.S. and China announced progress in several key areas, including the official launch of the U.S.-China Ten Year Framework, which serves as a guide for extensive bilateral cooperation to address the shared challenges of environmental sustainability, climate change and energy security.

June 19, 2008
Secretary Bodman approves a broader national security mission for the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) national security laboratories-Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Nevada Test Site-that more fully utilizes the labs' science, technology and engineering capabilities. The change recognizes that NNSA's roles in nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear counterterrorism are growing, and, through agreements with other federal agencies, the laboratories can and do contribute to national security more broadly than in the past. The broad range of research and development activities at the laboratories include sensor and detection technology, high-performance computing, microsystems, chemical and biological technology, and explosives science.

June 19, 2008
The Department announces that CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company has been selected as the plateau remediation contractor for DOE's Hanford Site. The contract is a cost-plus award-fee contract valued at approximately $4.5 billion over ten years (a five-year base period with the option to extend it for another five years).

June 20, 2008
The Department announces the expansion of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership to include two electric utility companies-Southern California Edison and DTE Energy. The addition of these utility members will help address the technical challenges and issues associated with market introduction and acceptance of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), furthering DOE's goal of making PHEVs cost-competitive by 2014 and ready for commercialization by 2016.

June 21, 2008
President Bush, in his weekly radio address, discusses energy issues and reiterates the four steps to expand American oil and gasoline production outlined in his June 18 remarks.

June 22, 2008
Secretary Bodman participates in the Jeddah Energy Meeting in Saudi Arabia at which oil producing and consuming nations discuss the current state of the global oil market. The Secretary, in prepared remarks, notes that "production has not kept pace with growing demand for oil, resulting in increasing-and increasingly volatile-prices," and he calls on producers and consumers to "come together with a clear intention to foster stable markets and reasonable prices, while restoring market confidence." In a statement following the meeting, the Secretary calls on all nations to "reduce demand and promote the substantial investment in all forms of energy development" and states that "while increases in near-term oil production like the one Saudi Arabia offered today are welcome and necessary, fundamentally the market needs to see investments in increased long-term production capability and spare capacity."

June 23, 2008
The Department issues a solicitation seeking to purchase heating oil for the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve (NEHHOR) using $3 million in appropriated funds. NEHHOR provides an important safety cushion for millions of Americans residing in the Northeast region of the country.

June 24, 2008
The Department issues a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to invest in multiple commercial-scale Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) or other clean coal power plants with cutting-edge carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology under DOE's restructured FutureGen program. The solicitation seeks multiple cost-shared projects to advance coal-based power generation technologies that capture and store the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). DOE anticipates $290 million will be available for funding of selected projects through Fiscal Year 2009 and an additional $1.01 billion is expected to be available in subsequent years.

June 25, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases its International Energy Outlook 2008. The report projects that world marketed energy consumption, driven by robust economic growth and expanding populations in the world's developing countries, will grow by 50 percent between 2005 and 2030. Although liquid fuels are expected to remain the largest single source of energy through 2030, the liquids share of marketed world energy consumption declines from 37 percent in 2005 to 33 percent in 2030. In addition, the share of conventional oil in the overall liquids supply declines with expanded use of unconventional oil, biofuels, and other unconventional liquids. Coal's share of world energy, which has increased sharply over the past few years, is likely to grow unless there are significant changes in existing laws and policies, particularly those related to greenhouse gas emissions. Coal accounted for 24 percent of total world energy use in 2002 and 27 percent in 2005. Coal's share of total world energy consumption is projected to reach 29 percent by 2030.

June 25, 2008
The Department announces that Restoration Services, Inc., has been awarded a task order for environmental technical services supporting the remediation and decontamination and decommissioning (D&D)of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP) at DOE's Portsmouth Site in Pinkerton, Ohio. The time and materials task order under the Environmental Services GSA Federal Supply Schedule is valued at approximately $67 million over five years (a three-year base period with the option to extend it for another two years).

June 25, 2008
The Department announces it will award up to $405,000 in fellowships to nine graduate students at U.S universities as part of the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI). The fellowships, valued at up to $45,000 per student over two academic years, are awarded to students pursuing research in technical areas related to the nuclear fuel cycle.

June 25, 2008
The Department announces the winners of DOE's 2007 Secretarial Small Business Awards during a ceremony for its 9th Annual Small Business Conference in San Antonio, Texas. DOE's Small Business Awards program was established to recognize performance by departmental offices, facility management contractors and small business ventures on an annual basis.

June 25, 2008
Senator John McCain, in a speech in Las Vegas, caps several days of remarks setting out his "comprehensive energy plan for energy security," which he calls the Lexington Project.

June 26, 2008
President Bush, in remarks made in the White House Rose Garden following a North Korean declaration of its nuclear programs, discusses North Korea and progress being made in efforts to disable its nuclear weapons.

June 30, 2008
The Department and the Volvo Group agree to expand cooperation to develop more fuel-efficient trucks. Once contractual negotiations are complete later this year, the cooperative program will be extended for three more years. An additional $9 million over three years in DOE funds will be matched by $9 million in Swedish government funds and $18 million from Volvo Group. When added with the existing $12 million commitment from the U.S., Sweden, and the Volvo Group the overall value of the cooperation will be $48 million.

June 30, 2008
President Bush signs H.R. 2642, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008. The bill includes an additional $62,500,000 for DOE's Office of Science, with DOE "instructed to utilize this funding to eliminate all furloughs and reductions in force which are a direct result of budgetary constraints."

June 30, 2008
The Department announces three solicitations for a total of up to $30.5 billion in federal loan guarantees for projects that employ advanced energy technologies that avoid, reduce or sequester air pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions. The three solicitations are in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced transmission and distribution technologies; nuclear power facilities; and advanced nuclear facilities for the 'front-end' of the nuclear fuel cycle. This marks the second round of solicitations for DOE's Loan Guarantee Program.

June 30, 2008
The Department and the National Science Foundation announce that the U.S. contribution to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been completed on budget and ahead of schedule. The LHC, located near Geneva, Switzerland, at the CERN laboratory, is the largest international scientific facility ever built. The U.S. contribution, a $531 million investment, consists of several key components of the particle accelerator and the ATLAS and CMS particle detectors.

June 30, 2008
The National Research Council releases a report on the 21st Century Truck Partnership, a cooperative research and development partnership launched in the year 2000 in an effort to advance the technologies used in trucks and buses, yielding a cleaner, safer, more efficient generation of vehicles. DOE's FreedomCAR provides most of the federal budget for the program. The report states that the program "should be revised and better balanced. A clearer goal setting strategy should be developed, and the goals should be clearly stated in measurable engineering terms and reviewed periodically so as to be based on the available funds."

June 30, 2008
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases a report (pdf) evaluating the 149 single-shell and 28 double-shell underground tanks containing more than 56 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous waste at DOE's Hanford Site in Washington State. "DOE lacks comprehensive information about the condition, contents, and long-term viability of Hanford's waste tanks," the GAO states, and the "uncertainties over tank condition, especially as the time frames for emptying tanks are extended and the tanks age, raise serious questions about the tanks' long-term viability." DOE disputes the findings. "The report accurately states that the tank waste retrieval and treatment, and tank closure mission is complex and technically challenging," Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management Ines Triay says, but DOE "does not agree with the report's conclusions that the Department lacks the necessary information to make informed decisions regarding tank integrity, waste retrieval, and treatment."

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July 1, 2008
President Bush issues a statement on the 40th anniversary of the U.S. joining 61 other nations in signing the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

July 1, 2008
The Department and the State of Idaho announce their agreement to a cleanup plan for buried waste at DOE's Idaho National Laboratory (INL) that provides for the long-term protection of the Snake River Plain Aquifer. The agreement implements a 2006 federal court order in coordination with ongoing Superfund cleanup of the area. It marks the end of six years of litigation between DOE and Idaho, and it will satisfy DOE's commitment to Idaho to remove transuranic (plutonium-contaminated) waste buried at INL decades ago. The agreement requires DOE unearth at least 7,485 cubic meters of buried transuranic waste and ship it to DOE's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico, for permanent disposal.

July 2, 2008
President Bush delivers a statement on the upcoming G8 summit. He tells the press that they will be "talking about energy security and, of course, at the same time, the climate change issue." The President notes that he will be "reminding people that we can have better energy security and we can be better stewards of the environment without sacrificing economic growth."

July 2, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that the Kazakhstan Customs Control Committee, in cooperation with NNSA, has begun operating eight new sites outfitted with radiation detection equipment on the Kazakhstan border. The radiation detection systems will detect and deter the illicit smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials.

July 2, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeff Kupfer tours DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and speaks to employees at an all-hands meeting on the end of involuntary layoffs. The Acting Deputy Secretary announces that Fermilab will receive about $29.5 million in supplemental funds.

July 3, 2008
The U.S. and Japan announce that they will cooperate in preventing the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological material in the global maritime shipping system. Japan is implementing new port security measures in cooperation with the U.S. as part of the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Megaports Initiative.

July 3, 2008
The Department issues its Request for Proposals (RFP) for the competitive selection of a contractor to manage and operate Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in Princeton, New Jersey. PPPL receives approximately $78 million annually from DOE. Princeton University is the current contractor. This is the first contract competition in the history of the laboratory.

July 7, 2008
At the G8 Summit in Toyako, Japan, James Connaughton, Chairman of the President's Council on Environmental Quality, briefs the press on the upcoming discussions on energy security and climate change by the G8 on July 8 and by the Major Economies leaders on July 9.

July 7, 2008
The Department and Sweden sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaboratively work on accelerating consumer acceptance and commercialization of plug-in hybrid vehicles. The MOU outlines a one year, $1 million cost-sharing arrangement that will be equally funded by DOE and the Swedish Energy Agency.

July 7, 2008
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases a report evaluating DOE's loan guarantee program (LGP) for innovative energy projects that should decrease air pollutants or greenhouse gases. "DOE is not well positioned to manage the LGP effectively and maintain accountability because it has not completed a number of key management and internal control activities," GAO finds, and, as a result, "may not be able to process applications efficiently and effectively." DOE disagrees, noting that it has "sufficient policies in place, coupled with a growing staff of finance and technical professionals, to move forward with the next steps."

July 7, 2008
The Department's Office of Science issues a Fact Sheet on the "Allocation of $62,500,000 FY 2008 Emergency Supplemental Funding."

July 8, 2008
President Bush and other G8 leaders meeting at the G8 Summit in Toyako, Japan, issue a Declaration on Environment and Climate Change. Dan Price, Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Deputy National Security Advisor, tells the press it was "an excellent discussion and an excellent declaration" and cites "significant progress in . . . four very important respects": 1) agreement that the U.N. Convention on Climate Change should consider and adopt a goal of reducing emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 and recognition that all "major economies" must commit to meaningful midterm mitigation actions; 2) agreement that progress towards ambitious emission reduction goals can only be achieved through accelerated adoption of existing technologies and development and deployment of a new generation of technologies; 3) commitments of more than $5 billion to support the Clean Technology Fund that will lower the cost of financing clean energy projects in developing countries; and 4) endorsement of the Major Economies effort on climate change.

July 9, 2008
President Bush and other Major Economies leaders meet at Toyako, Japan, and issue a Declaration on Energy Security and Climate Change. The declaration calls for "ambitious, realistic, and achievable" steps for "enhanced greenhouse gas mitigation." It states that it would be "desirable" for all countries to adopt an ambitious long-term global goal for greenhouse gas emissions reduction that assures growth and prosperity. The declaration commits the "developed major economies" to taking actions in the mid-term to halt the growth of greenhouse gas emissions and achieve absolute emission reductions, while the "developing major economies" will take actions in the mid-term to achieve a "deviation from business-as-usual emissions." James Connaughton, Chairman of the President's Council on Environmental Quality, briefs the press, noting that the President in his remarks called it a "historic gathering" with leaders of the major economies for the first time meeting specifically to discuss these issues. Connaughton adds that four meetings of their "direct personal representatives" led up to the leaders meeting. He says that it is important that the leaders "recognized what the G8 also articulated yesterday, that achieving an ambitious long-term goal depends on significant advances in technology and the infrastructure to deliver that technology in all of our countries." The White House issues a Fact Sheet on the meeting, and President Bush delivers remarks summing up the G8 Summit and the Major Economies Leaders Meeting.

July 9, 2008
Secretary Bodman accepts a plaque from the Environmental Protection Agency certifying DOE's James Forrestal Headquarters Building as an ENERGY STAR® building. The Forrestal building uses 40 percent less energy than the average office building.

July 11, 2008
Secretary Bodman hosts President Bush and his "economic team" at the DOE headquarters Forrestal building. Following the meeting, the President tells reporters that Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson, Jr., briefed the group on financial markets and economic stimulus payments. "The problem, of course, is that gasoline prices are up," notes the President. "And one of the main reasons why gasoline prices are up is because crude oil prices are up. And one reason crude oil prices are up is because demand is outstripping supply. And therefore, what can we do about it? . . . And one of the things we just went through was a briefing from Secretary Bodman and Secretary Kempthorne about the vast potential of crude oil reserves on offshore lands, as well as in Alaska, as well as in the oil shale in the western part of our country." The President adds that the "other part of our briefing was how we could explore in environmentally friendly ways. Technology has changed dramatically to enable the exploitation of oil in a way that protects the environment."

July 11, 2008
The price of oil reaches an intraday record of $147.27 a barrel before closing at $145.08.

July 12, 2008
President Bush, in his weekly radio address, discusses high gas prices. The President says that Congress should "work together" with his administration "on four steps that will expand American oil and gas production and eventually relieve the pressure of rising prices": 1) expand American oil production by increasing access to offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf, 2) expand oil production by tapping into the "extraordinary potential" of oil shale, 3) expand American oil production by permitting exploration in northern Alaska, and 4) expand and enhance our refining capacity.

July 13, 2008
The Department announces that it will provide $850,000 this fiscal year to support the National Governors Association's work to enact energy policies at the state level that will help develop and deploy cleaner sources of energy to power America's vehicles, homes, and workplaces more efficiently.

July 14, 2008
President Bush, in remarks delivered in the White House Rose Garden, announces that he is lifting the executive prohibition on oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf. The President again calls on Congress to lift the "legislative ban and allow the exploration and development of offshore oil resources." He states that "now the ball is squarely in Congress' court. Democratic leaders can show that they have finally heard the frustrations of the American people by matching the action I've taken today, repealing the congressional ban, and passing legislation to facilitate responsible offshore exploration. This legislation must allow states to have a say in what happens off their shores, provide a way for the federal government and states to share new leasing revenues, and ensure the environment is protected." The White House also issues a Fact Sheet, and Press Secretary Dana Perino discusses the issue in her press briefing.

July 14, 2008
The Department announces the selection of two small-scale cellulosic biorefinery projects in Park Falls, Wisconsin, and Jennings, Louisiana, for federal funding of up to $40 million over five years. These small-scale facilities will input approximately 70 tons of feedstock per day and produce 1.5 to 6 million gallons a year of liquid transportation fuels such as cellulosic ethanol from wood, energy crops and agricultural waste products.

July 15, 2008
President Bush leads off his press conference by noting that "it's been a difficult time for many American families who are coping with declining housing values and high gasoline prices." The President says that "to help address the pressure on gasoline prices my administration took action this week to clear the way for offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf." He renews his call for Congress to remove the ban. When asked what "short-term advice" he would offer to Americans, the President replies "obviously good conservation measures matter," but he adds that "there is no short-term solution. . . . the President doesn't have a magic wand. You just can't say, low gas. It took us a while to get here and we need to have a good strategy to get out of it." The President responds to four additional questions from the press on energy issues.

July 15, 2008
Congress releases a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on cyber and physical security problems at DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory. "LANL has not implemented complete security solutions," the GAO says, and "significant security problems at LANL have received insufficient attention."

July 16, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) holds a "media roundtable" on the future of science at NNSA laboratories and the Nevada Test Site. NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino, George Miller, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Michael Anastasio, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Thomas Hunter, Sandia National Laboratories, and Stephen Younger, Nevada Test Site, are in attendance.

July 17, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that nearly 14 pounds (6.3 kg.) of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in "spent" nuclear fuel from Bulgaria is secured at a Russian nuclear facility. The Soviet-era HEU spent fuel is transported by truck, barge, and rail in secret and secure conditions by NNSA from Bulgaria with the cooperation of several international organizations.

July 17, 2008
Administrator Thomas P. D'Agostino of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration testifies before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Complex Transformation.

July 17, 2008
The National Research Council releases a report on the transition to hydrogen vehicles. The report finds that if hydrogen vehicles take over the market there would be significant decreases in both oil consumption and greenhouse gas emission, although emissions reductions would depend upon how the hydrogen fuel was produced. Comparing these reductions with those achieved by either improving the fuel efficiency of conventional vehicles or by converting to biofuels, the report finds that both could produce reductions in oil use and emissions faster than hydrogen because they can be implemented more rapidly. After about 2040, however, hydrogen becomes more effective. The report urges that all options be pursued simultaneously.

July 19, 2008
President Bush, in his weekly radio address, discusses his efforts "to clear the way for environmentally responsible offshore exploration of key parts of the Outer Continental Shelf."

July 22, 2008
Secretary Bodman announces that researchers from DOE's National Laboratories and Y-12 National Security Complex have won 30 of the 100 awards given out this year by R&D Magazine for the most outstanding technology developments with promising commercial potential.

July 22, 2008
White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, in response to a 94 to 0 vote in the Senate to move ahead on a measure to curb speculation in oil markets, says that "we believe that speculation does cause some volatility in the day-to-day market fluctuations of oil prices. But we believe that the root cause of high energy prices is supply and demand. So while they can have the vote on speculation and they can move forward on that, we think that it is critical that we start focusing on the resources that we have in our own country and the ways that we can access those resources in environmentally friendly ways, including oil shale, offshore oil drilling and opening up a small bit of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to drilling."

July 23, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sign a memorandum of understanding today for Norway to contribute over $800,000 to NNSA's global nonproliferation efforts. Norway will provide funding to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at two sites in Kazakhstan where the NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) program has ongoing projects.

July 23, 2008
The Department announces the award of a contract to Hess Corporation for the delivery of approximately 808,625 gallons (approximately 19,250 barrels) of home heating oil for the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve. The reserve was established by the Energy Act of 2000 to provide a short-term supplement to Northeast heating oil supplies in the event of an actual or imminent severe energy supply disruption.

July 23, 2008
The Department announces the launch of the EnergySmart Hospitals initiative to increase the use of energy efficient technologies in hospitals across the U.S. The nation's 8,000 hospitals are among the most energy-intensive commercial buildings, and this initiative will target 20 percent improved efficiency in existing hospital facilities and 30 percent improvement over current standards in new construction.

July 23, 2008
The Department announces it has awarded $7.3 million to teams led by Idaho National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory to advance the technology of nuclear fuel "Deep-Burn," in which plutonium and higher transuranics recycled from spent nuclear fuel are destroyed while generating energy. The revolutionary technology not only advances nuclear power production but reduces the amount of radioactive waste produced in the end.

July 24, 2008
The Department and New Zealand sign terms of reference for the International Partnership for Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN), an initiative to further the development of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies on island nations and territories.

July 24, 2008
A Democrat-sponsored bill in the House requiring the Bush administration to release 70 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve fails to pass. The vote is 268-157 in favor of the measure, but it falls short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass under the special rule that governed its consideration.

July 24, 2008
The Department announces (pdf) that workers have started the demolition of the K East Basin, once a key nuclear facility located about 400 yards from the Columbia River at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington State.

July 29, 2008
President Bush tours the Lincoln Electric Company in Euclid, Ohio, and discusses his administration's actions to address high gasoline prices. The White House also releases a Fact Sheet on "Committed to Cleaner, More Abundant Domestic Energy."

July 29, 2008
The Department announces the selection of the Alliance for Sustainable Energy (ASE) LLC as the management and operating contractor for DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. The cost-plus award-fee contract is valued at approximately $1.1 billion, subject to annual appropriations, over a five-year contract period. The contract includes an option to extend it for up to five additional years. ASE is a limited liability company consisting of Midwest Research Institute, which is the current NREL contract holder, and Battelle Memorial Institute.

July 29, 2008
The Department announces the selection of 10 projects aimed at developing advanced technologies and concepts to minimize freshwater withdrawal and consumption by coal-based power systems. The projects, totaling approximately $9 million from DOE and $3 million in cost sharing from the recipients, will focus on three topic areas: advanced cooling technology, innovative water reuse and recovery, and non-traditional sources of process and cooling water. Thermoelectric power plants are the second largest user of freshwater in the U.S., requiring significant volumes to cool and condense the low-pressure steam from the plant's electricity-generating turbines. Only the agricultural sector, which uses large quantities of water for irrigation, withdraws more freshwater.

July 29, 2008
The National Research Council releases a report assessing DOE's plan for U.S. fusion community participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Plans have been effective and well thought out to date, the report notes, but funding uncertainties cast doubt on U.S. commitment to the international collaboration.

July 30, 2008
President Bush, following a Cabinet meeting at which economic and energy issues are discussed, again calls on to lift the legislative ban that prevents offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf. "There are now just a couple of days left before Congress leaves for its August recess," notes the President. "Legislation to open up this offshore exploration is pending in both the House and the Senate-all Democratic leaders have to do is allow a vote. They should not leave Washington without doing so."

July 31, 2008
Deputy Administrator William Tobey of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the North Korean Six-Party Talks and implementation activities.

July 31, 2008
The Department announces that it will provide $36 million for 15 projects aimed at furthering the development of new and cost-effective technologies for the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the existing fleet of coal-fired power plants. The 15 projects will focus on five areas of interest for CO2 capture: membranes, solvents, sorbents, oxycombustion (flue gas purification and boiler development), and chemical looping.

July 31, 2008
Under Secretary for Science Raymond L. Orbach and Agriculture Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Gale Buchanan announce plans to award 10 grants totaling more than $10 million to accelerate fundamental research in the development of cellulosic biofuels.

July 31, 2008
President Bush delivers remarks on energy issues at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the West Virginia Coal Association in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The President discusses administration efforts to use new technology to strip out pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury, and to capture carbon emissions from coal. The President also discusses efforts to eliminate the barriers to expanding use of nuclear power.

July 31, 2008
The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) announces the release of the report Climate Models: An Assessment of Strengths and Limitations, the 10th in a series of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAPs) managed by U.S. federal agencies. Developed under the leadership of DOE, this report, SAP 3.1, describes computer models of the Earth's climate and their ability to simulate current climate change.

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August 1, 2008
The Department announces it will award up to $15 million to 34 research organizations as part of DOE's Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI). AFCI is DOE's nuclear energy research and development program supporting the long-term goals and objectives of U.S. nuclear energy policy. These projects will provide necessary data and analyses to further nuclear fuel cycle technology development, meet the need for advanced nuclear energy production, and help to close the nuclear fuel cycle.

August 2, 2008
President Bush, in his weekly radio address, criticizes Democratic leaders in Congress for "leaving town without taking any action to ease the burden of high gas prices on families across America."

August 4, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer, on a trip to Brazil and Colombia, tours Petrobras' Leopoldo Americo Miquez de Mello Research and Development Center (CENPES) in Rio de Janeiro where he observes ongoing research and development on biofuels. He also meets with Petrobras President Sergio Gabrielli and U.S. oil and gas industry representatives.

August 4, 2008
The Department announces the first four Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) to help the federal government save approximately $13 million on energy and energy-related costs per year. The contracts will also enable $140 million in energy efficiency improvements to DOE facilities, as part of DOE's Transformational Energy Action Management (TEAM) initiative.

August 4, 2008
Secretary Bodman issues a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed El Baradei donating nearly $50 million for the purpose of establishing an International Nuclear Fuel Bank (INFB). Once developed, the INFB will assure reliable access to nuclear fuel for clean energy production by countries willing to rely on the international market. The bank will provide an alternative to the pursuit of costly and proliferation-sensitive indigenous nuclear fuel cycle facilities, while helping meet future energy needs.

August 4, 2008
Senator Barack Obama in a speech in Lansing, Michigan, lays out his comprehensive New Energy for America plan.

August 5, 2008
The Department reaffirms its prior decision to relocate mill tailings predominantly by rail from the former uranium-ore processing site near Moab, Utah, 30 miles north to Crescent Junction, Utah. As determined previously, oversized material that is not practical to be sized to fit into the containers will be transported by truck.

August 5, 2008
The Department releases a revised estimate of the total system life cycle cost for a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The 2007 total system life cycle cost estimate includes the cost to research, construct, and operate Yucca Mountain during a period of 150 years, from the beginning of the program in 1983 through closure and decommissioning in 2133. The new cost estimate of $79.3 billion, when updated to 2007 dollars comes to $96.2 billion, a 38 percent increase from the last published estimate in 2001 of $57.5 billion. This updated estimate takes into account a substantial increase in the amount of waste to be shipped and stored at the repository and more than $16 billion for inflation.

August 5, 2008
The Department announces the launch of DOE's Zero-Net Energy Commercial Building Initiative (CBI) with establishment of the National Laboratory Collaborative on Building Technologies Collaborative (NLCBT). These two efforts both focus on DOE's ongoing efforts to develop marketable Zero-Net Energy Commercial Buildings, buildings that use cutting-edge efficiency technologies and on-site renewable energy generation to offset their energy use from the electricity grid by 2025.

August 6, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer and Brazilian Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobão meet in Brasilia and issue a joint statement on mutual energy interests.

August 7, 2008
Secretary Bodman hosts an all-hands meeting of DOE employees and contractors. The Secretary speaks on "the reality of our energy and national security challenges and highlight[s] the unique ability of the DOE complex to respond to these challenges both today and moving forward."

August 7, 2008
Secretary Bodman issues a statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's denial of a request by the State of Texas for a fifty percent waiver of the national volume requirements waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

August 8, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer meets with senior government officials in Cartagena, Colombia, and delivers remarks at the annual General Assembly of the National Industrial Association (ANDI), Colombia's largest private sector association. He also tours Colombia's largest coal mine, the "La Loma."

August 11, 2008
The Department issues the final Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Round 3 of the Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) which seeks to accelerate the commercial deployment of advanced coal technologies. DOE anticipates making multiple awards under this FOA and, depending on fiscal year 2009 appropriations, may be able to provide up to $340 million to be distributed among selected recipients. The projects will be cost-shared, with the award recipient(s) providing at least 50 percent of funds for the project. The solicitation contemplates cooperative agreements to demonstrate, at commercial scale, new technologies that capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal-fired power plants and either sequester the CO2 or put it to beneficial use.

August 12, 2008
President Bush meets with the Coalition for Affordable American Energy and discusses energy issues. The President Bush says a comprehensive energy strategy should include the development of alternative energy technologies, conservation measures, and more oil exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf.

August 12, 2008
The Department announces that it will invest up to $24 million in Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond-subject to the availability of funds-to develop solar energy products to significantly accelerate penetration of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the U.S. The Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) projects will provide critical research and development funding to develop less expensive, higher performing products to enhance the value of solar PV systems to homeowners and business owners. DOE has selected 12 industry teams to participate in cost-shared cooperative agreements focusing on conceptual design of hardware components, and market analysis.

August 14, 2008
Under Secretary Clarence H. "Bud" Albright, Jr., announces the selection of 10 cost-shared hydrogen storage research and development projects, which will receive up to $15.3 million over five years, subject to annual appropriations. The selected projects seek to develop hydrogen storage technologies to enable fuel cell vehicles to meet customer expectations for longer driving range and performance. The projects include development of novel hydrogen storage materials, development of efficient methods for regeneration of hydrogen storage materials, and approaches to increase hydrogen binding energies to enable room temperature hydrogen storage. The Under Secretary made the announcement at the Washington, D.C., stop of the Hydrogen Road Tour, a 13-day cross-country trip sponsored by DOE and the Department of Transportation that gives the public an opportunity to see what the future could hold for hydrogen vehicles.

August 15, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Kyrgyzstan State Customs Committee (SCC) announce an agreement to coordinate efforts to prevent nuclear smuggling by installing radiation detection equipment at multiple border crossings in Kyrgyzstan.

August 15, 2008
The Department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission deliver to Congress the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Licensing Strategy Report, which describes the licensing approach, the analytical tools, the research and development activities and the estimated resources required to license an advanced reactor design by 2017 and begin operation by 2012. The NGNP represents a new concept for nuclear energy utilization, in which a gas-cooled reactor provides process heat for any number of industrial applications including electricity production, hydrogen production, coal-to-liquids, shale oil recovery, fertilizer production, and others that meet significant industrial needs.

August 20, 2008
The Department opens the Fernald Preserve and its Visitors Center to the public. Located 18 miles northwest of Cincinnati, Ohio, DOE's Fernald site was a uranium processing facility from 1951 to 1989. Following environmental cleanup, the site has been ecologically restored using plants, grasses, and trees native to southwest Ohio. The preserve has 140 acres of wetland habitat, 400 acres of forests, and 300 acres of grassland, including tall grass prairies.

August 20, 2008
The price of oil closes at $114.98 per barrel. DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA), in its "This Week in Petroleum," states that "expectations about supply and demand [are] the primary factors behind the recent drop." The EIA projects that "prices may settle in the $120 - $130 per barrel range for most of the remainder of the year, barring any additional major supply disruptions from hurricanes or other events such as the current conflict in Georgia."

August 22, 2008
The Department announces over $26 million in federal funding over three years, subject to congressional appropriations, cost-shared development of energy-efficient industrial processes in the steel and other energy-intensive industries. The industrial sector consumes approximately one-third of the energy used in the U.S. and accounts for 28 percent of domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

August 23, 2008
President Bush, in his weekly radio address, criticizes Democratic leaders in Congress for failing to take action on the "high prices at the gas pump."

August 25, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it successfully eliminated 100 metric tons of U.S. highly enriched uranium (HEU), enough for thousands of nuclear weapons. For the last decade, the U.S. HEU disposition program has eliminated surplus HEU from the nuclear weapons program by downblending the HEU into low enriched uranium (LEU) for use as commercial nuclear reactor fuel. Approximately 217 metric tons of HEU have been declared excess to U.S. defense needs and are scheduled to be down-blended. Downblending takes place at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as well as two commercial facilities licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Products Division in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. in Erwin, Tennessee.

August 25, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer and Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary Lynn Scarlett announce the designation of DOE's B Reactor as a National Historic Landmark and unveiled DOE's plan for a new public access program to enable American citizens to visit B Reactor during the 2009 tourist season. The B Reactor at DOE's Hanford Site in southeast Washington State was the world's first industrial-scale nuclear reactor and produced plutonium for the Trinity test device and the atomic weapon that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan to help end World War II.

August 26, 2008
The Department and NASA announce that the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) has revealed its first all-sky map in gamma rays. The onboard Large Area Telescope's (LAT) all-sky image-which shows the glowing gas of the Milky Way, blinking pulsars and a flaring galaxy billions of light-years away-was created using only 95 hours of "first light" observations, compared with past missions which took years to produce a similar image. As part of its support for particle physics research, DOE contributed funding to the LAT-the primary instrument on GLAST-and DOE's Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) managed the LAT construction. SLAC also played a key role in assembling the instrument and now plays the central role in LAT science operations, data processing and making scientific data available to collaborators for analysis.

August 28, 2008
The Department, Australia, and Iceland sign the charter of the International Partnership for Geothermal Technology (IPGT), signaling the commitment of the three countries to aggressively foster and promote cutting edge geothermal technologies to promote energy security and address global climate change.

August 28, 2008
Senator Barack Obama, in his speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president, states that "for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet" he will "set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East." Obama adds that now is the time to "end this addiction" to imported oil and to "understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. . . . As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced."

August 29, 2008
The Department announces the availability of up to $7 million to accelerate the movement of clean energy technologies from DOE's national laboratories to the marketplace. The funding will help post-research technologies move toward commercial viability by providing pre-venture capital funding for activities such as prototype development, demonstration projects, and market research. Seven DOE national laboratories have been selected to receive funding based on submitted applications.

August 31, 2008
Hurricane Gustav, after crossing Cuba, emerges into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico as a major Category 3 storm and accelerates northwestward across the gulf toward the U.S. coast. The oil industry in the gulf, for the first time since 2005, completes a full-scale shutdown, evacuating workers from offshore platforms and closing refineries.

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September 1, 2008
Hurricane Gustav, weakened to a Category 2 storm, makes landfall on the Louisiana coast about 72 miles southwest of New Orleans. Initial reports indicate Gustav may have harmed the Gulf energy infrastructure less than feared, and oil prices drop $4.21 to $111.25 a barrel. DOE uses a remote-controlled Predator "drone" spy plane to help assess damage. "We don't see any indication of [significant damage] at this time," Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Kevin Kolevar notes, "but we'll learn more tomorrow as companies start repopulating facilities."

September 2, 2008
President Bush assembles his Cabinet to discuss Hurricane Gustav and energy issues. The President tells reporters that "we're now in the process of assessing any damage done to the [energy] infrastructure and what-it's a little early right now to come up with a solid assessment. There are some encouraging signs. For example, during Katrina, rigs would be-rigs moved because of the force of the storm and their anchors drug across pipelines, which caused there to be infrastructure damage. We didn't see much of that this time." He notes that Secretary Bodman "in touch with [Louisiana] Governor Jindal. We want to make sure that we're in touch with these energy-producing states, to help assess what took place and what needs to happen."

September 2, 2008
The Department receives a formal request from Citgo's Lake Charles, Louisiana, refinery for 250,000 barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The oil is needed because of the closure of Louisiana's Calcasieu channel and disruptions in oil supply caused by Hurricane Gustav. DOE states that it intends to grant Citgo's request.

September 3, 2008
Louisiana's Calcasieu Channel is partially opened and Citgo's Lake Charles refinery, determining that it will receive the necessary oil supply needed to meet refinery needs, withdraws its request for 250,000 barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. DOE, separately, receives a formal request from Marathon Petroleum Company's Robinson and Catlettsburg refineries for oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The oil is needed because of disruptions in supply caused by Hurricane Gustav.

September 3, 2008
The Department announces that Mission Support Alliance, LLC, has been selected as the mission support contractor for DOE's Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State. The contract is a cost-plus award-fee contract valued at approximately $3.0 billion over ten years (a five-year base period with options to extend it for up to another five years). The scope of the contract includes five primary functions: Safety, Security and Environment; Site Infrastructure and Utilities; Site Business Management; Information Resources/Content Management; and Portfolio Management.

September 3, 2008
The Department announces the selection of six projects that will address challenges facing the large-scale production of hydrogen from coal and coal-biomass mixtures. DOE's funding for the projects will be $5.5 million, with the project partners funding $2.1 million for a total worth of $7.6 million.

September 4, 2008
Secretary Bodman delivers remarks to the National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference, the largest federally sponsored conference held on behalf of minority entrepreneurs and business enterprises.

September 4, 2008
Senator John McCain, in his speech accepting the Republican nomination for president, states that his administration will "embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much. We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles." McCain adds that "we must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. It's an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It's time for us to show the world again how Americans lead. This great national cause will create millions of new jobs, many in industries that will be the engine of our future prosperity."

September 5, 2008
The White House issues a Fact Sheet, "American Economy Is Resilient in the Face of Challenges," which notes that President Bush has called on Congress to "act at least on three common-sense energy proposals." Congress should 1) expand access to offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf , 2) expand access to oil shale, and 3) extend renewable power tax credits to spur the development of alternative sources of energy, such as wind and solar.

September 5, 2008
The Department's Savannah River Site announces (pdf) that all legacy solvents from canyon operations have left South Carolina for treatment necessary before final disposition.

September 6, 2008
President Bush, in his weekly radio address, reiterates his call for Congress to "take action on three common-sense energy solutions that enjoy bipartisan support."

September 8, 2008
The Department delivers 250,000 barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Marathon Petroleum Company's Midwest refineries along the Capline pipeline system.

September 8, 2008
The Department announces awards for approximately $6.6 million in competitive-selected grants for innovative state-level energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and projects. The DOE supported, state-led projects will focus on building utility scale energy capacity from renewables and demand reduction, as well as advanced building energy codes.

September 8, 2008
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) formally dockets DOE's license application for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Docketing the application triggers a three-year deadline, with a possible one-year extension, set by Congress for the NRC to decide whether to grant a construction authorization. "This is a significant step forward in solving the nation's problem of disposing of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste currently sitting at 121 temporary locations in 39 states across the country," Secretary Bodman says. "I am confident the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's rigorous review process will validate that the Yucca Mountain repository will safely store this waste in a manner that is most protective of human health and the environment."

September 8, 2008
The Department and the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sign a three-year memorandum of understanding (pdf) on collaborative climate research. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) makes available more than 10 million hours of supercomputing time for NOAA to explore advanced climate change models at three of DOE's national laboratories.

September 9, 2008
Secretary Bodman inaugurates one of the largest solar power systems in Washington D.C., installed atop the DOE's Forrestal Building. At a rooftop ceremony, the Secretary energizes the system for the first time. The solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system will generate approximately 200 megawatt hours of electricity annually, provide up to eight percent of the Forrestal complex's energy during peak hours, and save as much as $26,000 in utility costs in its first year of operation.

September 9, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces the kickoff of the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI), which will promote the strengthening of nuclear safeguards worldwide to help ensure the safe, secure and peaceful implementation of civil nuclear energy programs. NGSI will leverage NNSA's technical assets and international partnerships in an effort to revitalize the international technology and human resource base dedicated to nuclear safeguards, which protect against proliferation. In addition, NNSA makes publically available a previously non-public report on "International Safeguards: Challenges and Opportunities for the 21st Century," which examines current and future challenges of the international safeguards system and identifies new capabilities and resources that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other key organizations and institutions will need to address these challenges.

September 9, 2008
The White House issues a release, "Rest of the Story: President Bush Supports a Comprehensive Energy Plan," in response to a USA Today editorial claiming that the President has implied offshore drilling would be "a quick and easy way of lowering prices at the pump." The release states that the President "has repeatedly noted that offshore drilling would take years to have its full impact on prices at the pump."

September 9, 2008
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases a report assessing the security of the unclassified computer network at DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory.

September 10, 2008
OPEC, meeting in Vienna, announces a production cut of 520,000 barrels per day. OPEC notes that "the oil market is well supplied and has enabled inventories to be built up to comfortable levels in terms of forward demand cover" and as a result "prices have dropped significantly in recent weeks." White House Press Secretary Dana Perino states that "we certainly disagree with [the cut]. We would like to see more oil on the market, not less."

September 10, 2008
An international collaboration of scientists send the first beam of protons at nearly the speed of light around the world's most powerful particle accelerator-the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)-located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. DOE and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have invested a total $531 million in the construction of the accelerator and its detectors, which scientists believe could help unlock extraordinary discoveries about the nature of the physical universe. "As the largest and most powerful particle accelerator on Earth, the LHC represents a monumental technical achievement," notes DOE Undersecretary for Science Raymond Orbach.

September 10, 2008
The Department announces the selection of six advanced biofuels projects in which DOE plans to invest up to $4.4 million, subject to annual appropriations. These awards to U.S. institutions of higher education will support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 percent, more than $5.7 million is slated for investment in the six projects.

September 10, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) hosts the annual Nuclear Security Summit for approximately 250 attendees including participants from the Department of Defense and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at the Y-12 National Security Complex. The meeting allows different federal agencies to share technical solutions and research to enhance collaboration that will ensure greater nuclear security across the country.

September 10, 2008
President Bush transmits the U.S.-India Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy agreement to Congress. The President also sends a memorandum to Secretary Bodman and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice informing them that the agreement "will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security."

September 11, 2008
The White House issues a release stating that President Bush "is pleased to approve the U.S.-India Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation." The White House notes that "this historic achievement will bolster international nonproliferation efforts, provide economic and business opportunities in both countries, and help India address its growing energy needs in an environmentally responsible manner. The President looks forward to working with Congress to ensure passage on the agreement this year."

September 11, 2008
The Department delivers 130,000 barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Placid Oil's Port Allen refinery along a Shell pipeline in Louisiana. DOE also delivers an additional 250,000 barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Marathon Petroleum Company's Midwest refineries along the Capline pipeline system. The oil was requested by Marathon and Placid because of disruptions in supply caused by Hurricane Gustav.

September 12, 2008
Secretary Bodman delivers the keynote address at the National Nuclear Security Administration's International Meeting on Next Generation Safeguards in Washington, D.C. The Secretary highlights DOE's efforts to help ensure the safe, secure, and peaceful implementation of civil nuclear energy programs around the world. Conference participants, including representatives from 14 foreign governments and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), examine challenges to the nuclear safeguards systems and begin to outline an agenda for cooperation to meet anticipated safeguards needs.

September 12, 2008
Hurricane Ike, the second major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico in the past two weeks, heads for the Houston and Galveston area of the Texas coast. Offshore oil platforms-many of which had not yet been started up following Gustav, refineries, and major crude pipelines are shut down. Residents of Galveston and low-lying areas of Houston are urged to evacuate.

 

September 13, 2008
Hurricane Ike makes landfall at Galveston as a strong Category 2 storm. Over 2.6 million customers in Texas and Louisiana are without power.

September 14, 2008
Secretary Bodman and other officials, in an early morning meeting at the White House, brief President Bush on Hurricane Ike, updating the President on damage incurred and relief and restoration efforts. The Secretary discusses power outages and preliminary reports on gasoline production and pipeline distribution.

September 14, 2008
Refineries and major pipelines on the Gulf coast report minimal damage from Hurricane Ike. Only four of 17 oil refineries on the Texas coast remain closed, with six ramping up and the rest operational. "To the extent that we hear that damage is minor," states Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Kevin Kolevar, "the larger issue is going to be power restoration."

September 14, 2008
The Department agrees to deliver 200,000 barrels of emergency exchange oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to ConocoPhillips Company's Wood River refinery along the Capline pipeline system. DOE will also deliver an additional 109,000 barrels of emergency exchange oil from the SPR to Placid Oil's Port Allen refinery along a Shell pipeline in Louisiana. The oil was requested by ConocoPhillips and Placid Oil because of disruptions in supply caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Over the next several weeks, DOE makes 14 deliveries of SPR oil in September to refineries totaling 3.85 million barrels and 4 deliveries in October totaling 800,000 barrels.

September 15, 2008
The White House issues a Fact Sheet, "Increasing Fuel Supply in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike," noting that President Bush "is taking immediate action to address energy challenges and carefully monitor fuel prices following the storms."

September 15, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Romanian Frontier Police announce an agreement to coordinate efforts to prevent nuclear smuggling by installing radiation detection equipment at multiple border crossings in Romania.

September 15, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Australian Safeguards and Nonproliferation Office (ASNO) announce the 10-year extension of the arrangement for cooperation on international nuclear safeguards. NNSA and ASNO have collaborated on a number of safeguards projects over the past 16 years, including helping countries in Southeast Asia implement the Additional Protocol, which gives the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) authorities and tools for verifying not just a state's declared nuclear program, but also its undeclared and suspect activities.

September 15, 2008
The Department issues a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to Bechtel National, Inc., (BNI) for a nuclear safety violation at DOE's Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. The violation involves BNI retaliation against contractor employees who believe they have disclosed information concerning danger to public health or safety.

September 15, 2008
The Department launches the latest version of Science.gov-Science.gov 5.0-allowing users to search additional collections of valuable science resources, more easily target their searches, and readily find links to information on a variety of science topics. Science.gov is a free, integrated single-search gateway to reliable science and technology information from 17 organizations within 13 federal science agencies. Science.gov 5.0 offers seven new databases and portals which allow researchers access to over 200 million pages of scientific information.

September 16, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer delivers remarks at the Financial Times-World Energy Council Energy Leaders Summit in London. At the summit, members of the energy industry, governments, and the financial world discuss the issue of investment opportunities in clean energy businesses.

September 17, 2008
Secretary Bodman delivers remarks to the National Petroleum Council (NPC) meeting in Washington, D.C. The Secretary endorses the NPC's 2007 report, Facing the Hard Truths about Energy, stating that it is "an impressive piece of work that adds to our understanding of the global energy future over the next 22 years." The Secretary says that he has "personally sent copies of the Hard Truths report to every member of Congress, every governor, my Cabinet colleagues and my energy colleagues overseas." The Secretary notes that "there is a degree of urgency involved" in addressing the nation's energy issues.

September 18, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in conjunction with the U.S. Navy, announces that Bechtel Marine Propulsion has been selected to be the management and operating contractor for the Bettis and KAPL laboratories in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Schenectady, New York. Bechtel Marine Propulsion is a single-purpose entity dedicated to the management and operation of the Bettis and KAPL laboratories for the Naval Reactors Program and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bechtel National Incorporated. The competition consolidated two separate management and operating contracts into a single contract. While management and operations responsibilities have been consolidated under a single contract, the two laboratories will continue to operate with complete technical independence. The basic term of the contract is 5 years with an option for an additional 5 years.

September 18, 2008
The Department announces the selection of projects for negotiation of award of up to $7.3 million to 14 research teams, with a cost-shared value of over $18 million, under DOE's competitive solicitation for Advanced Water Power Projects. The projects will advance commercial viability, cost-competitiveness, and market acceptance of new technologies that can harness renewable energy from oceans and rivers.

September 19, 2008
Secretary Bodman delivers remarks at the formal inauguration of the University of Delaware Energy Institute in Newark, Delaware.

September 19, 2008
The Department announces selections for negotiations of award under the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), Advanced Heat Transfer Fluids and Novel Thermal Storage Concepts for Concentrating Solar Power Generation. These 15 new projects, totaling approximately $67.6 million, will facilitate the development of lower-cost energy storage for concentrating solar power (CSP) technology.

September 22, 2008
The Department announces a solicitation for up to $8.0 billion in federal loan guarantees for projects that employ advanced technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester emissions of air pollutants or greenhouse gases in the area of coal-based power generation, industrial gasification, and advanced coal gasification facilities. This marks the third round of solicitations for DOE's Loan Guarantee Program, which encourages the commercial use of new or significantly improved clean energy technologies.

September 24, 2008
Secretary Bodman delivers remarks at the GridWeek 2008 conference in Washington, D.C. He highlights DOE's implementation of the smart grid provisions under the Energy Independence and Security Act signed into law on December 19, 2007.

September 25, 2008
Secretary Bodman delivers remarks at the Northern Virginia Technology Council's Titans Breakfast Series in McLean, Virginia. The Secretary Bodman highlights the importance of diversifying our energy sources and promoting the research and development of clean energy technologies in order to secure a safe, clean energy future.

September 25, 2008
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), in testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, discusses the challenges in sustaining cyber and physical security improvements at DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory.

September 26, 2008
The Department announces the first phase of awards, valued at $15 million, for the Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative (CBI). Twenty-one companies, which will include retailers, financial institutions, and commercial real estate firms, will team with two of DOE's national laboratories-Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)-to speed market adoption of current energy-saving technologies and produce real-building design solutions yielding significant, measurable energy savings in their commercial buildings.

September 27, 2008
The House approves the U.S.-India Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy agreement by a vote of 298 to 117. President Bush congratulates the House, noting that it is "another major step forward in achieving the transformation of the U.S.-India relationship."

September 29, 2008
Secretary Bodman delivers remarks on the opening day of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference in Vienna highlighting efforts to address challenges to the peaceful expansion of nuclear power, including cost, spent fuel management, and proliferation. He also encourages increased international investment in the development of nuclear infrastructure, technology, and safeguards. Additionally, the Secretary participates in a news conference launching the World Institute for Nuclear Security, a new international organization to strengthen the physical protection and security of nuclear materials and facilities worldwide.

September 29, 2008
The Department announces up to $17.6 million, subject to annual appropriations, for six early stage photovoltaic (PV) module incubator projects that focus on the initial manufacturing of advanced solar PV technologies. Including the cost share from industry, which will be at least 20 percent, the total research investment is expected to reach up to $35.4 million.

September 30, 2008
President Bush signs H.R. 2638, the "Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act," 2009, which provides funding to continue operations of the federal government through March 6, 2009, for projects and activities not otherwise covered in the full-year bills. The act also does not continue the 26-year-old legislative moratoria on oil and gas leasing on significant portions of the Outer Continental Shelf and the prohibition on the completion of regulations for commercial leasing of oil shale. In addition, the act allows DOE to offer $25 billion in direct loans to help companies produce more fuel-efficient cars.

September 30, 2008
The Department, along with the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium and local Clean Cities partners from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C., launches the 2008 kick-off of the Clean Cities National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey (Odyssey Day) dedicated to promoting petroleum-free choices in transportation. The event is the first of more than 80 AFV events nationwide that will occur in the coming months.

September 30, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology sign an arrangement for cooperation on the implementation of strategic trade controls. The arrangement advances bilateral cooperation to prevent the illicit transfer of nuclear-related materials, equipment, technology, and information to countries or terrorist organizations seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

September 30, 2008
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report (pdf) on the viability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a key climate change mitigation option states that the "key barriers to CCS deployment include (1) underdeveloped and costly CO2 capture technology and (2) regulatory and legal uncertainties over CO2 capture, injection, and storage." The GAO adds that "another barrier is the absence of a national strategy to control CO2 emissions (emissions trading plan, CO2 emissions tax, or other mandatory control of CO2 emissions), without which the electric utility industry has little incentive to capture and store its CO2 emissions."

September 30, 2008
The Department's Sandia National Laboratories announces that it is expanding its wind energy program as the result of additional funding from DOE's Wind Energy Program. Sandia is sharing a $4 million award with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Pacific Northwest, Oak Ridge, Lawrence Livermore, Argonne, and Los Alamos national laboratories. The multilaboratory research agenda is focused on delivering the results needed to continue to integrate high penetrations of wind energy into the electric grid.

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October 1, 2008
Secretary Bodman delivers the closing remarks at the third annual Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) Ministerial Meeting in Paris. At the meeting, the Secretary reiterates the strong commitment of the U.S. to ensuring that the global expansion of civilian nuclear power is done safely and securely, while reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation and responsibly managing waste. "Whatever the future holds for the United States politically," the Secretary notes, "I believe that nuclear power will continue to play an increasingly large role in our energy mix.

October 1, 2008
The Department, on the first day of Energy Awareness Month, launches the Stay Warm, Save Money website and educational outreach campaign to help consumers be more energy efficient and save on energy costs

October 1, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration reports that nuclear weapons stockpile dismantlements have increased by 20 percent over Fiscal Year 2007. In 2004, President Bush directed that the size of the nuclear weapons stockpile be reduced nearly 50 percent by 2012. Because this goal was met five years early, he ordered a further reduction of almost 15 percent by 2012. The nuclear stockpile will then be at its lowest level since the Eisenhower era and at about one-quarter of its level at the end of the Cold War.

October 1, 2008
The Senate approves the U.S.-India Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy agreement by a vote of 86 to 13. President Bush congratulates the Senate, noting that the "legislation will strengthen our global nuclear nonproliferation efforts, protect the environment, create jobs, and assist India in meeting its growing energy needs in a responsible manner."

October 1, 2008
The Department awards (pdf) four grants for more than $6 million to the University of Nevada-Reno to commercialize energy technologies, provide training courses to first responders and community leaders, start a construction project to assist future earthquake research, and enable research in spent nuclear fuel reprocessing and hydrogen production.

October 2, 2008
The Department announces it has received 19 Part I applications from 17 electric power companies for federal loan guarantees to support the construction of 14 nuclear power plants in response to its June 30, 2008 solicitation. The applications reflect the intentions of those companies to build 21 new reactors, with some applications covering two reactors at the same site. All five reactor designs that have been certified, or are currently under review for possible certification, by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are represented in the Part I applications. DOE also has received Part I applications from two companies for federal loan guarantees to support two different Front-End Nuclear Facility Projects.

October 2, 2008
The Department announces that DOE-funded researchers have developed an environmentally safe bacterial toxin to control zebra and quagga mussels, two non-native, invasive species that have found their way into the waterways of 25 states over the past two decades, fouling the aquatic environment as they spread. The new bio-pesticide was derived from a common soil bacterium by researchers at the New York State Museum Field Research Laboratory in Cambridge, NY. When ingested in large quantities, the bacterium is lethal to zebra and quagga mussels, but it is harmless to non-target organisms, including native freshwater mollusks.

October 2, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has successfully converted two U.S. research and test reactors from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU). The TRIGA-type HEU research reactors at Oregon State University and Washington State University were converted from the use of HEU to LEU fuel as part of the 2005 North American Security and Prosperity Partnership between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

October 2, 2008
The Department signs (pdf) Record of Decision with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington State Department of Ecology to commit to cleaning up groundwater contamination in the center of the Hanford Site in southeast Washington State. DOE will build the largest groundwater treatment system to date at Hanford.

October 3, 2008
Secretary Bodman announces his decision to authorize a four-year contract extension for the management and operation of DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, located in Richland, Washington, to Battelle Memorial Institute, a non-profit organization based in Columbus, Ohio. The Battelle management and operating (M&O) contract will be extended through September 30, 2012. DOE's decision would also extend a companion contract, the Battelle "Use Permit" that allows use of laboratory resources for Battelle's commercial business, to remain in effect through September 30, 2012, at which time Battelle and DOE have agreed that all Use Permit activities will be concluded or transitioned over to the M&O contract.

October 6, 2008
The Department announces the funding of 21 research, development, and demonstration of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) projects for next-generation geothermal energy technologies. DOE will provide up to $43.1 million over four years to the 21 awardees, including a record 13 awards to first-time recipients. With cost-share by the recipients, the public-private investments will be up to $78 million.

October 7, 2008
Secretary Bodman and Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer release the National Biofuels Action Plan (pdf), an interagency plan detailing the collaborative efforts of federal agencies to accelerate the development of a sustainable biofuels industry. Secretary delivers brief remarks on the plan. DOE also announces that it will invest an additional $76.3 million in POET, LLC, which is producing a commercial-scale cellulosic biorefinery. POET received $3.7 million under the first phase of a cooperative agreement with DOE that covered initial design, permitting, and preparation of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation. This second phase of funding will support final design, construction, and commissioning of the project to develop an economically viable cellulose-to-ethanol biorefinery. Additionally, DOE has selected five advanced biofuels projects to receive $7 million in funding, subject to annual appropriations. The five projects will develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly ways to convert non-food feedstocks into stabilized pyrolysis oils. DOE releases a Fact Sheet on the NBAP.

October 7, 2008
The Department issues a Fact Sheet on preliminary results (pdf) of a test program initiated in August 2007 to assess the potential impacts of higher intermediate ethanol blends on conventional vehicles and other engines that rely on gasoline. The test program focuses specifically on the effects of intermediate blends of E15 and E20-gasoline blended with 15 and 20 percent ethanol, respectively-on emissions, catalyst and engine durability, drivability or operability, and materials associated with these vehicles and engines. Vehicle results include the following when E15 and E20 were compared with traditional gasoline: tailpipe emissions were similar; under normal operations, catalyst temperatures in the 13 cars were largely unchanged; when tested under full-throttle conditions, about half of the cars exhibited slightly increased catalyst temperatures with E15 and E20, compared to traditional gasoline; and, based on informal observations during testing, drivability was unchanged.

October 7, 2008
Under Secretary for Science Raymond Orbach congratulates Yoichiro Nambu of the U.S. and Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa of Japan for co-winning the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics for their theoretical insights that provide a deeper understanding of what happens far inside the tiniest building blocks of nature. Over a period of three decades starting in the 1960s, the Atomic Energy Commission, a DOE predecessor agency, and DOE supported Dr. Nambu, including the key research cited by the Nobel committee in their award to him.

October 7, 2008
Senators McCain and Obama, in the second presidential election debate, discuss energy issues

October 8, 2008
President Bush signs H.R. 7081, the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act. President Bush, in his remarks, says that the "legislation will enhance our cooperation in using nuclear energy to power our economies; it will help us work together even more closely to reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation across the world."

October 8, 2008
Secretary Bodman and Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez co-host the 2008 Nuclear Energy Summit bringing together national and regional regulators, financiers, academics, senior executives from the nuclear industry and representatives from interested federal agencies. Secretary Bodman in remarks discusses the importance of nuclear power in the U.S. and worldwide.

October 8, 2008
The Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announces that it secured royalty income of $9.4 million from technology licenses in Fiscal Year 2008. This was nearly 50 percent more than the lab's previous best and is one of the highest amounts of royalty income achieved in a fiscal year by a DOE national laboratory.

October 9, 2008
Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), announces that he has approved the final environmental analysis (pdf) of his plan to transform the aging, Cold War-era nuclear weapons complex into a 21st century national security enterprise. The NNSA's preference for transformation would consolidate missions and facilities within the existing NNSA sites, known as distributed centers of excellence. While not eliminating any sites, NNSA would eliminate redundancies in missions, capabilities, and facilities at all of them, eventually saving money in the future.

October 9, 2008
The Department selects (pdf) a team led by DOE's Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) as its new Hydrogen Storage Engineering Center of Excellence. The Hydrogen Storage Engineering Center of Excellence is a virtual center made up of ten partners at various locations around the country, and is anticipated to run for approximately five years. The Center will address the significant engineering challenges associated with developing low-pressure, materials-based hydrogen storage systems that will enable fuel cell vehicles to meet customer expectations for driving range, performance and cost.

October 9, 2008
The Department's Office of Science announces that DOE-funded researchers at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign have produced solar cells made of silicon that use one-tenth the amount of material as current solar cells but with the potential to produce comparable amount of power as conventional modules, and also are thin, semitransparent, lightweight, and flexible. These capabilities will not only make solar power more cost effective but will also expand its use in applications not hitherto possible in, for example, fabrics, windows of buildings, and sunroofs of automobiles.

October 10, 2008
Under Secretary for Science Raymond Orbach congratulates Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie, and Roger Y. Tsien for co-winning the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for transforming a green fluorescent protein from jellyfish into one of the most important tools of molecular biology that researchers now use to watch such previously invisible processes as the development of nerve cells in the brain or how cancer cells are formed. Dr. Tsien did research at the National Synchrotron Light Source at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory, for research leading to the solution of the crystal structure of green fluorescent protein, published in 1996.

October 13, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that in cooperation with international partners, they have successfully converted three research and test reactors in Argentina, South Africa, and Ukraine from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU).

October 15, 2008
Senators McCain and Obama, in the third presidential election debate, discuss energy issues.

October 16, 2008
The Department opens the Fernald Preserve Visitors Center near Cincinnati, Ohio. Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer delivers remarks.

October 16, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration, in an advance summary (pdf) of its U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves 2007 Annual Report notes that "record-high additions to U.S. dry natural gas proved reserves in 2007 totaled 46.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), more than double the 19.5 Tcf of dry natural gas actually produced in the United States during the year." As a result, total proved reserves "at the end of 2007 rose to 237.7 Tcf, 13 percent above the year-end 2006 level and the highest level in the 31 years EIA has published annual reserves data." In addition, for the first time in four years, "U.S. proved oil reserves increased during 2007, as proved reserve additions of 2.0 billion barrels exceeded production of 1.7 billion barrels. Year-end proved reserves in 2007 stood at 21.3 billion barrels, nearly two percent higher than at the end of 2006."

October 17, 2008
The Department announces the initial results of energy cost reduction by 84 military bases that have shifted away from traditional lighting to compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bases are participating in ENERGY STAR® Operation Change Out-The Military Challenge, a joint effort with DOE and the U.S. Department of Defense. Secretary Bodman launched this initiative earlier in the year on Earth Day.

October 17, 2008
The Department announces the availability of its Draft Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The document provides an analysis of the potential environmental consequences of alternatives to the present U.S. open fuel cycle, in which nuclear fuel is used one time and eventually sent to geologic disposal.

October 18, 2008
The Department's Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center and Ormat Technologies Inc., announce the first successful generation of electricity using geothermal hot water from a producing oil well. The power is used in oil field operations.

October 20, 2008
The Department launches the Real World Design Challenge, a new annual competition that provides high school students with the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a collaborative environment.

October 20, 2008
The Department announces that it has decided to retain its Idaho National Laboratory (INL) contractor for the duration of the 10-year contract. Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) will continue to run INL through September 2014. A clause in BEA's 2005 contract required DOE to review the contractor's performance by Sept. 30, 2008, and decide whether to reduce the contract term.

October 21, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer highlights U.S.-Canada energy cooperation in remarks at the C. D. Howe Institute in Calgary.

October 23, 2008
The Department honors 22 employees each with a Federal Energy Water Management award for energy efficiency improvement efforts and innovative strategies in federal government, which saved taxpayers more than $28 million in Fiscal Year 2007.

October 22, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that nearly 341 pounds (154.5 kilograms) of Soviet-era highly enriched uranium (HEU) "spent" nuclear fuel has been successfully removed from Hungary by NNSA and secured at a Russian nuclear facility. The HEU spent fuel was transported by truck, rail, and cargo vessel in secret and secure conditions with the cooperation of several international organizations.

October 23, 2008
The Department's Office of Science announces that it has selected four proposals worth a total funding of $7 million to conduct climate research field studies in 2010. Together, these field studies will obtain data from various cloud types-cirrus, marine and mixed-phase (ice and water)-to help improve the computer models that simulate climate change.

October 24, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that the final Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (SPEIS) on transforming the nuclear weapons complex is now available.

October 27, 2008
The Department's Technology Transfer Coordinator, Under Secretary for Science Raymond L. Orbach, announces two new model agreements that will expand access to DOE's world-class research facilities by academia and industry. Pre-approved, standardized model agreements-one for proprietary research, the other for non-proprietary research-are now authorized for use at all designated DOE user facilities at all DOE laboratories. The streamlined agreements will simplify the process for gaining access to DOE facilities and promote the transfer of cutting-edge technologies from DOE national laboratories.

October 29, 2008
The Department's Idaho Operations Office, in coordination with the Office of Environmental Management, releases a Final "Request for Proposal" to obtain a contractor to perform waste processing at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) at DOE's Idaho Site near Idaho Falls, Idaho. The contract performance period is anticipated to be six years under a Cost-Plus-Award-Fee contract with performance-based incentives. The selected contractor will be responsible for performing waste processing on and disposal of the transuranic waste and mixed low-level waste at the Idaho Site's Transuranic Storage Area (TSA).

October 30, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer leads a delegation of senior U.S. agency representatives to Istanbul, Turkey, to further U.S.-Turkey collaboration on key projects to enhance Turkish energy security. Kupfer and the U.S. delegation-which includes experts in the fields of finance and risk mitigation-meets with their Turkish counterparts to discuss Turkey's priorities for the development, financing and insurance of energy projects such as pipelines, power plants, and electricity distribution systems. The Department issues a Fact Sheet on U.S.-Turkey cooperation in global energy security.

October 30, 2008
The Department awards a $2.5 billion management and operating (M&O) contract for the Yucca Mountain Project to USA Repository Services (USA-RS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the URS Corporation. USA-RS will provide mission support to the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. As awarded, the contract has a five-year period of performance with a potential five-year option period.

October 31, 2008
The Department announces that it is prepared to execute the Standard Contract for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and/or High-Level Radioactive Waste (Standard Contract) set forth in 10 C.F.R. 961, together with a new reactor amendment, with those companies desiring to construct new nuclear power reactors. Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, a company must have a contract with DOE for disposal services in order to receive a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to construct and operate a new nuclear power reactor.

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November 4, 2008
Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) is elected President.

November 5, 2008
The Department issues an Interim Final Rule that implements the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program authorized by section 136 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The FY 2009 Continuing Resolution provided DOE with funding to make up to $25 billion in direct loans to eligible applicants for the costs of reequipping, expanding, and establishing manufacturing facilities in the U.S. to produce advanced technology vehicles, and components for such vehicles. These vehicles must provide meaningful improvements in fuel economy performance. DOE also issues a Fact Sheet on the program.

November 10, 2008
The Department announces that the latest upgrade to the Cray XT Jaguar supercomputer at the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has increased the system's computing power to a peak 1.64 "petaflops," or quadrillion mathematical calculations per second, making Jaguar the world's first petaflop system dedicated to open research.

November 12, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that a major cooperative effort to secure weapons-grade nuclear material is now completed at the Mayak Production Association in Ozersk, Russia. It is the largest nuclear materials storage facility that NNSA has completed security upgrades on to date. The U.S. assistance in strengthening security at Mayak is part of NNSA's Material Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A) program. By securing materials at their source, NNSA helps strengthen the "first line of defense" against nuclear theft and terrorism.

November 13, 2008
The Department announces (pdf) the beginning of construction on a new-style disposal unit for salt waste materials at the Saltstone Facility at DOE's Savannah River Site (SRS). When construction and testing are complete, it will provide additional disposal capacity to disposition the Site's low-level radioactive salt waste. A total of 36 million gallons of liquid nuclear waste, in the forms of salt and sludge, are stored in 49 underground carbon-steel tanks.

November 14, 2008
Secretary Bodman leads a Presidential Delegation participating in the 2008 Energy Summit hosted by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Secretary and the U.S. delegation, including U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy C. Boyden Gray and U.S. Ambassador to Baku Anne Derse, take part in a number of bilateral meetings with foreign heads of state and government ministers to discuss the U.S. commitment to the development of the Southern Pipeline Corridor and to bringing Central Asian and Caspian oil and gas to global markets. DOE issues a Fact Sheet on U.S. and Caspian energy security.

November 14, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has, in cooperation with the Mongolian State Specialized Inspection Agency, commissioned the first five sites on the Mongolian border that have been outfitted with radiation detection equipment, designed to detect illicit smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials.

November 14, 2008
The Department announces an agreement with LG Electronics, USA, Inc. (LG) to resolve concerns related to energy usage measurements reported by LG on its French Door refrigerators with through-the-door ice and water service. As part of the settlement, LG has agreed to revise its energy ratings on certain refrigerators based on guidance from DOE.

November 17, 2008
The Department awards $66.9 million to the Big Sky Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership for DOE's seventh large-scale carbon sequestration project as part of its Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Program. Led by Montana State University-Bozeman, the Partnership will conduct a large-volume test in the Nugget Sandstone formation to demonstrate the ability of a geologic formation to safely, permanently and economically store more than two million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

November 17, 2008
The Department announces the release of its second Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the United States and Canada, which documents more than 3,500 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential in oil and gas reservoirs, coal seams, and saline formations. Preliminary estimates suggest the availability of more than 1,100 years of CO2 storage for the U.S. and Canada in these geologic formations.

November 17, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces that it has signed an agreement to work with the Bangladesh Ministry of Shipping and other government agencies to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at the port of Chittagong. The port of Chittagong is a major cargo container hub in South Asia and a strategic transit point in the international maritime trading system. In addition, NNSA will provide training to Bangladeshi officials to use this equipment to ensure sustainable operations.

November 18, 2008
Department experts start the first joint DOE/China plant assessment at one of China's largest industrial plants. The assessment is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DOE and China's National Development and Reform Commission that calls for partnering to improve China's industrial energy efficiency. The MOU includes projects for DOE to perform 6-12 pilot assessments, train Chinese engineers in plant decision tools, and compare U.S. and Chinese energy policies and energy intensive plants. The 5-day plant assessment is at Jinyuan Chemical Company in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province.

November 18, 2008
The Department and the Environmental Protection Agency announce the release of the updated National Action Plan Vision for 2025: A Framework for Change (pdf). The action plan outlines strategies to help lower the growth in energy demand across the country by more than 50 percent, and shows ways to save more than $500 billion in net savings over the next 20 years. These strategies, if implemented, are estimated to help reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 90 million vehicles.

November 18, 2008
The Department of the Interior (DOI) and DOE sign a Memorandum of Understanding that will help the National Park Service showcase sustainable energy practices and fulfill its mission of environmental stewardship. With equal amounts of initial "seed money" from DOI and DOE totaling $1 million for 2009, the Energy SmartPARKS program hopes to eventually draw private sector support.

November 18, 2008
Representatives John D. Dingell (D-MI), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Bart Stupak (D-MI), chairman of that committee's Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, release a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (pdf) on nuclear safety oversight of DOE nuclear facilities and operations by DOE's Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS). The GAO states that "HSS falls short of fully meeting GAO's elements of effective independent oversight of nuclear safety." The GAO notes that shortcomings "in part caused by DOE's desire to strengthen oversight by the program offices, with HSS providing assistance to them in accomplishing their responsibilities. In the absence of external regulation, DOE needs HSS to be more involved in nuclear safety oversight because a key objective of independent oversight is to avoid the potential conflicts of interest that are inherent in program office oversight."

November 19, 2008
Secretary Bodman announces a competitive solicitation for five venture capital firms to participate in the expansion of DOE's Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program, which aims to accelerate deployment and commercialization of advanced clean energy technologies from DOE's National Laboratories. The additional EIR program solicitation will ultimately place five more venture capital entrepreneurs in DOE's Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

November 19, 2008
The Department announces that DOE and NASA have signed a memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the Joint Dark Energy Mission, or JDEM. The mission will feature the first space-based observatory designed specifically to understand the nature of dark energy.

November 19, 2008
President-elect Obama announces that Carol Browner, who headed up the Environmental Protection Agency under President Clinton, will lead a "policy working group" for energy and environmental policies during the transition period. The working group will "develop the priority policy proposals and plans" that the President-elect will pursue after he takes office.

November 20, 2008
The Department announces it has met all goals of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Scorecard for Fiscal Year 2007. DOE was one of only three federal agencies to meet these goals. The Department met its goals in contracting with businesses in all five of the SBA's categories: small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, HUBZone small businesses, and small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

November 21, 2008
President Bush approves the 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 and authorizes the Secretary of State to arrange for its execution.

November 22, 2008
President-elect Obama in a radio address notes that his Economic Recovery Plan "will mean 2.5 million more jobs by January of 2011" and "put people back to work ... building wind farms and solar panels; fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead."

November 25, 2008
The Department announces the issuance of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the West Valley Demonstration Project in western New York, naming Phased Decisionmaking as the Preferred Alternative in cleaning up the site. The document is a revision of the 1996 Cleanup and Closure Draft EIS.

November 26, 2008
Four Federal agencies--the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, and Defense and Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management--release a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PEIS) proposing to designate more than 6,000 miles of energy transport corridors on Federal lands in 11 Western States. The agencies prepared the Final PEIS as part of their work to implement Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The proposed energy corridors would facilitate future siting of oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines, as well as electricity transmission and distribution facilities on Federal lands in the West.

November 26, 2008
Washington State files suit in against DOE in U.S. District Court in Spokane, Washington, for failure to meet key milestones in the clean up of the Hanford Site. Key to the cleanup is 53 million gallons of radioactive waste in 177 underground tanks that threatens to leak into the nearby Columbia River.

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December 2, 2008
The Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory releases Combined Heat and Power: Effective Energy Solutions for a Sustainable Future (pdf), a report highlighting Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, as a realistic solution to enhance national energy efficiency, ensure environmental quality, promote economic growth, and foster a robust energy infrastructure. The report finds that if 20 percent of generating capacity by 2030 came from CHP, there would be a 60 percent reduction of the projected increase in carbon dioxide (CO2)--the equivalent of removing 154 million cars from the road; and fuel savings of 5.3 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) annually--the equivalent of nearly half the total energy currently consumed by U.S. households.

December 2, 2008
Officials from the Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the U.K. Ministry of Defense, Russian Ministry of Defense, and the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom, begin a two-day nuclear security best practices workshop to exchange expertise to ensure that there is no possibility such weapons or materials will fall into terrorist hands. The workshop is part of a series held between the U.S. and Russia pursuant to the Bratislava Nuclear Security Initiative.

December 2, 2008
The congressionally appointed Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Proliferation and Terrorism releases its World at Risk report to Congress. "Ours remains a world at risk and our margin of safety is shrinking, not growing," says former Senator Bob Graham, the Commission chairman. "The Commission believes that unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is likely that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013."

December 3, 2008
President Bush is briefed on the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Proliferation and Terrorism report on U.S. progress against the threat of WMD proliferation and terrorism. The White House issues a Fact Sheet.

December 3, 2008
The Department announces the selection of six cost-shared research projects for the development and demonstration of alternative vehicle technology projects totaling a DOE investment of up to $14.55 million over three years. Private sector contributions will further increase the financial investment for a total of up to $29.3 million. The selections are part of DOE's continuing work to develop high efficiency vehicle technologies and are not part of the recently announced $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.

December 3, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases the report: Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2007. The EIA finds that total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 7,282 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2007, an increase of 1.4 percent from the 2006 level. Since 1990, U.S. GHG emissions have grown at an average annual rate of 0.9 percent. U.S. GHG emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), or U.S. GHG intensity, fell from 636 metric tons per million 2000 constant dollars of GDP (MMTCO2e/million dollars GDP) in 2006 to 632 MMTCO 2e /million dollars GDP in 2007, a decline of 0.6 percent. Since 1990, the annual average decline in GHG intensity has been 1.9 percent.

December 3, 2008
The Department issues a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI) for nuclear safety violations at DOE's Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. BNI is the contractor responsible for the design and construction of the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) at the site. The PNOV cites multiple violations of 10 C.F.R. Part 830, Nuclear Safety Management, which occurred during the procurement and fabrication of piping and the development of project specifications.

December 3, 2008
More than 200 of the world's leading science policy experts begin a two-day meeting (pdf) at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., to review and begin the implementation of a new report, The Science of Science Policy: A Federal Research Roadmap, an interagency effort sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

December 2, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer participates in the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) as part of the U.S. Delegation led by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. The Acting Deputy Secretary's participation in the fifth Cabinet-level meeting of the SED focuses on strengthening U.S.-China collaboration in addressing the challenges of energy security and climate change. DOE has taken the lead in working with China to develop two energy-related action plans under the SED's Ten Year Energy and Environment Cooperation Framework, one on Clean, Efficient and Secure Electricity Production and Transmission and the other on Clean and Efficient Transportation. DOE issues a Fact Sheet on the U.S.-China dialogue.

December 5, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (ASBGS), and Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) hold a ceremony at Ukraine's Kyiv Boryspil International Airport today to commission the operation of radiation detection equipment.

December 7, 2008
President-elect Obama, in an interview on Meet the Press, states that he is not in favor of raising gasoline taxes. "Putting additional burdens on American families right now, I think, is a mistake, the President-elect says. "What we have to do long term is make sure that we have an energy strategy that focuses on fuel-efficient cars, that focuses on providing incentives for fuel-efficient cars. Same applies to buildings. We have an enormously inefficient building stock, and we can save huge amounts of energy costs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil by simple things like weatherization and changing the lighting in, in major buildings. That's going to be part of our economic recovery plan. It actually allows us to spend some money, put some people to work right away, but it also creates a long-term, sustainable energy future."

December 8, 2008
The Department announces the award to Savannah River Remediation, LLC, as the liquid waste contractor for DOE's Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina. The contract is a cost-plus award-fee contract valued at approximately $3.3 billion over the entire contract, consisting of a base period of six years, plus an option to extend for up to two additional years. The objective of the Liquid Waste contract is to achieve closure of the SRS liquid waste tanks in compliance with the Federal Facilities Agreement, utilizing the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) and Saltstone Facility.

December 8, 2008
The Department and the Department of State sign a Memorandum of Understanding (pdf) with the intent of conducting energy assessments to improve environmental and energy management at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

December 8, 2008
Representatives from the Department participate in the third Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) Infrastructure Development Working Group in Vienna, Austria.

December 9, 2008
Secretary Bodman transmits The Report to the President and the Congress by the Secretary of Energy on the Need for a Second Repository (pdf) to the President and the Congress. The report is submitted in accordance with section 161 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended. "Unless Congress raises or eliminates the current statutory capacity limit of 70,000 metric tons of heavy metal, a second repository will be needed," the Secretary says. "The statutory limit is not based on any technical considerations, and the repository layout at Yucca Mountain can be expanded to accommodate three times the amount of fuel allowed under the current arbitrary cap."

December 9, 2008
The Department releases its Report to Congress on the Demonstration of the Interim Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel from Decommissioned Nuclear Power Reactor Sites (pdf). The report was prepared pursuant to direction in the House Appropriations Committee Report that accompanied the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 that DOE develop a plan to take custody of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) currently stored at decommissioned reactor sites. After reviewing its authority to accept SNF from decommissioned commercial nuclear power reactor sites for interim storage, DOE concludes that under present law it has no such authority.

December 11, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Republic of Djibouti's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and Ministry of Equipment and Transportation (MET) announce the signing of an agreement that will allow the two governments to work together to prevent the smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material.Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Djibouti, NNSA will work with the MAECI and the MET to help secure cargo containers passing through the Port of Djibouti.

December 11, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) welcomes the decision taken by the Council of the European Union to contribute 25 million Euros towards the establishment of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear fuel bank. The EU contribution, and similar contributions from the U.S. ($50 million), the United Arab Emirates ($10 million), and Norway ($5 million), are to be matched by a $50 million grant from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) for the establishment of an international fuel bank under IAEA auspices.

December 11, 2008
The Department announces that Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, MI has been selected to design and establish the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), a cutting-edge research facility to advance understanding of rare nuclear isotopes and the evolution of the cosmos. The new facility-expected to take about a decade to design and build and to cost an estimated $550 million-will provide research opportunities for an international community of approximately 1000 university and laboratory scientists, postdoctoral associates, and graduate students. DOE issues a Fact Sheet on the selection.

December 12, 2008
Officials from the Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) participate in a ceremony today in Panama commissioning radiation detection efforts at two of the busiest seaports in Latin America. Under a special cost-sharing arrangement, Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT), located in Colón at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, contributed to the detection efforts by funding the design and installation of the radiation detection equipment at the port. The Port of Balboa, located in Panama City at the Pacific entrance to the Canal and operated by Panama Ports Company, a subsidiary of Hutchison Port Holdings, is assisting with efforts to scan containers that are transiting by rail between the Port of Balboa at the southern terminus of the Canal and MIT, Colón Container Terminal, and the Port of Cristobal at the northern terminus of the Canal.

December 15, 2008
President-elect Obama announces that he has chosen Steven Chu to serve as his Secretary of Energy. Dr. Chu is Director of DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and winner of the Nobel Prize for physics in 1997. Dr. Chu, the President-elect says, "is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who has been working at the cutting edge of our nation's effort to develop new and cleaner forms of energy. He blazed new trails as a scientist, teacher, and administrator, and has recently led the Berkeley National Laboratory in pursuit of new alternative and renewable energies. Steven is uniquely suited to be our next Secretary of Energy as we make this pursuit a guiding purpose of the Department of Energy, as well as a national mission. The scientists at our national labs will have a distinguished peer at the helm. His appointment should send a signal to all that my Administration will value science, we will make decisions based on the facts, and we understand that the facts demand bold action." Secretary Bodman issues a statement on the selection. The President-elect also announces the selection of Carol Browner, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, as Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, a new post in the White House, to coordinate energy and climate policy.

December 15, 2008
The White House issues a Fact Sheet on the Bush Administration's accomplishments in diversifying energy supply and confronting climate change.

December 15, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces the approval of the start of construction of a Waste Solidification Building (WSB) at the Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina. The WSB is one of three critical facilities that will allow the U.S. to dispose of surplus weapons-usable plutonium. The WSB will process liquid waste from the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility, currently under construction, and the planned Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility (PDCF).

December 16, 2008
The U.S. and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan sign an agreement in Amman to begin a cooperative effort to detect, deter, and interdict illicit smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material. The agreement provides a foundation for the Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to cooperate with the Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission (JNRC) and other government agencies to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at the Port of Aqaba and at selected land border crossings.

December 16, 2008
The Administrator of the Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Thomas D'Agostino, signs two records of decision on the "Complex Transformation" plan for consolidation of missions and facilities within the existing NNSA sites. The records of decision define directions for major nuclear, research, development, and testing facilities supporting NNSA activities.

December 16, 2008
The Department issues its Excess Uranium Inventory Management Plan (pdf), which outlines DOE's strategy for the management and disposition of its excess uranium inventories. DOE has a significant inventory of uranium that is excess to national defense needs and is expensive both to manage and secure.

December 17, 2008
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Oran, Algeria, agrees to cut production by 4.2 million barrels a day effective January 1, 2009. The current production level is 29.045 million barrels a day. "OPEC's decision to cut is shortsighted," notes Healy Baumgardner, DOE's Press Secretary. "If there are any lessons from the past year, it is that markets react faster than ministers. What we want is to see oil markets well supplied, with adequate investment in future production."

December 17, 2008
The Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) sign an agreement to conduct research and development on a range of shared nuclear security challenges, such as the effects of a potential detonation of a terrorist crude nuclear device.

December 17, 2008
The Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases its Annual Energy Outlook 2009 reference case with updated projections for U.S. energy consumption and production through 2030. For the first time in more than 20 years, the new reference case projects virtually no growth in U.S. oil consumption, reflecting the combined effect of recently enacted CAFE standards, requirements for increased use of renewable fuels, and an assumed rebound in oil prices as the world economy recovers. With overall liquid fuel demand in the reference case growing by only 1 million barrels per day between 2007 and 2030, increased use of domestically-produced biofuels, and rising domestic oil production spurred by higher prices, the net import share of total liquids supplied, including biofuels, declines from 58 percent in 2007 to less than 40 percent in 2025 before increasing to 41 percent in 2030.

December 17, 2008
The Department announces the successful demonstration of the cost-effective removal of multiple pollutants from the emissions of an older 100-megawatt coal-fired power plant at AES Greenidge's facilities in Dresden, NY. The successful retrofit means the unit can meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations while continuing operations another 20 to 30 years. Wide commercial acceptance of the new system could contribute to significant reductions in national emissions and help extend the life of more than 400 power plants with capacities of 50 to 300 megawatts.

December 18, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer participates in the Ministerial Meeting on International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) held in London. IPEEC is a proposed partnership jointly developed by the Group of Eight, People's Republic of China, India, and the Republic of Korea (G8+3) energy ministers to provide a forum for consultations and exchange of information to help countries yield high-energy efficiency gains. Brazil and Mexico also are in attendance. Secretary Bodman previously met with the group during the G8+3 energy ministers ministerial in Aomori, Japan, in June 2008. During that meeting, the ministers signed a political declaration in support of the near-term establishment of IPEEC and endorsed broader participation.

December 18, 2008
The Department announces the award of 16 new Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) that could result in up to $80 billion in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects at federally-owned buildings and facilities. Under an ESPC, the contractor designs, constructs, and obtains the necessary financing for an energy savings project, and the agency makes payments over time to the contractor from the savings reduction in the utility bills which are paid by the agency's appropriated funds over time. The contractor guarantees the energy improvements will generate savings.

December 18, 2008
The Department's Office of Science announces that 66 projects addressing some of the greatest scientific challenges have been awarded access to some of the world's most powerful supercomputers at DOE national laboratories. The projects--competitively selected for their technical readiness and scientific merit--will advance research in key areas such as astrophysics, climate change, new materials, energy production and biology. The allocations of supercomputing and data storage resources will be made under DOE's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, which supports computationally intensive, large-scale research projects.

December 18, 2008
The Department announces (pdf) that it has met a Tri-Party Agreement milestone in the F Area at the Hanford Site by completing remediation of 53 waste sites near the Columbia River. DOE's River Corridor contractor, Washington Closure Hanford, loaded more than 408,369 tons of waste during their work on 25 of the waste sites. In addition, they characterized, sampled and identified more than 40 unknown items, found seven pieces of spent nuclear fuel, evaluated more than 300 bottles containing laboratory waste, and collected more than 1,500 samples.

December 19, 2008
Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer participates in the London Energy Ministers Meeting--a follow-up to the Jeddah Energy Meeting held in June 2008. Kupfer discusses the current state of the global oil market, encourages continued energy investment, and identifies opportunities for increased collaboration in energy efficiency and alternative energy technologies. He also reaffirms U.S. support for open and competitive energy markets and transparency, including through the international Joint Oil Data Initiative.

December 19, 2008
The Department announces the successful completion of the first four homes in New Orleans to meet its Builders Challenge level of high energy performance. These homes in the Gentilly neighborhood in New Orleans are the first four of 20 pilot homes being built by Project Home Again of New Orleans, a nonprofit development group created by the Riggio Foundation of New York. DOE's Builders Challenge is a voluntary national energy savings initiative that calls for the U.S. homebuilding industry to build 220,000 high-performance, energy efficient homes nationwide by 2012.

December 19, 2008
At a White House ceremony, eight "early career" researchers, funded by DOE's Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), were honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)--the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers who are early in their independent research careers. The DOE awardees were recognized for their research efforts in a variety of issues, from computational biology to atomic, molecular and optical science.

December 19, 2008
The price of oil, after falling steadily due to the worsening global economy since reaching an all time high of $147.27 a barrel on July 11, closes at $33.87 a barrel. This is the lowest price level for oil since February 2004.

December 22, 2008
The Department announces the issuance of a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $200 million over six years (FY 2009 - FY 2014) to support the development of pilot and demonstration-scale biorefineries including the use of feedstocks such as algae and production of advanced biofuels such as bio-butanol, green gasoline and other innovative biofuels. These pilot and demonstration-scale facilities are intended to lead to commercialization in the near term.

December 23, 2008
The Department delivers the Bratislava Nuclear Security report to the White House, which detailed the status of work agreed to by Presidents Bush and Putin in Bratislava in 2005. U.S. and Russian officials reviewed work to complete nuclear security upgrades in Russia at meetings in Moscow last week. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino issues a statement in response.

December 29, 2008
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismisses a protest against the award of the $3 billion Hanford Mission Support Contract to Mission Support Alliance, LLC, a team led by Lockheed Martin. DOE nonetheless agrees to take "corrective action" regarding the "agency's cost evaluation" for the contract. DOE issues a statement that it is "confident that the issues raised by the GAO can be addressed both thoroughly and expeditiously."

December 30, 2008
The U.S. and the Lebanese Republic sign an agreement in Beirut to begin a cooperative effort to detect, deter, and interdict illicit smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material. The agreement paves the way for the Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to work with the Lebanese Customs Administration and other government agencies in Lebanon to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at the port of Beirut and the port of Tripoli.

December 31, 2008
The Department announces the availability of ENERGY STAR® residential water heaters. The ENERGY STAR® program now addresses every major residential appliance found in most American homes. Introduction of this product provides significant potential savings to consumers. Water heating represents up to 15.5 percent of national residential energy consumption, the second largest end use of energy in homes, following heating and cooling. Using one of five specified water heating technologies, ENERGY STAR® qualified water heaters can reduce water heating bills from 7.5 percent to as much as 55 percent.

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