Energy Dept.

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Good News for Your Summer Road Trip

Lowest prices in 6 years are predicted—a $2.45-per-gallon average

(Newser) - Not since 2009 have we seen the gas prices that industry experts are expecting this summer driving season—but in a good way. Per a US Energy Department forecast , gas will cost an average of $2.45 for a gallon of regular between April and September, typically the nation's... More »

Feds Have Collected Billions for Nonexistent Nuke Project

And that practice must end, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday

(Newser) - Ever since 1983, the Energy Department has been collecting fees paid for by Americans who use nuclear-generated electricity. The tenth-of-a-cent charge per each kilowatt-hour of electricity adds up to about $750 million a year, earmarked to pay for a program disposing of these power plants' nuclear waste. Only, uh, that... More »

Obama Naming Energy, EPA Honchos Today

Picks Ernest Moniz, Gina McCarthy to fill the key vacancies

(Newser) - President Obama will appoint a new energy secretary and new head of the Environmental Protection Agency today, according to a White House official. Obama is nominating MIT scientist Ernest Moniz to head the Energy Department and EPA veteran Gina McCarthy to run the environmental agency. She currently serves as EPA'... More »

World's Fastest Supercomputer Still American

Cray system known as 'Titan' takes top spot

(Newser) - The US still holds the crown for fastest supercomputer, but it's now a Cray XK7 system known as Titan that has overtaken the previous titleholder, the IBM Sequoia . US and German researchers found that Titan, funded by the Department of Energy and housed at the US government's Oak... More »

Chu: Solyndra Wasn't About Politics

Energy chief defends loan to Congress

(Newser) - Energy Secretary Steven Chu offered a spirited defense of his department’s loan guarantees to Solyndra today, telling Congress that the loan program is necessary to keep US alternative energy companies competitive, and insisting that he didn’t know Solyndra was connected to a major Obama fundraiser, the Washington Post... More »

Energy Dept. Asked Solyndra to Delay Layoff Announcement

...until day after 2010 midterm elections

(Newser) - More bad Solyndra press for the Obama administration: Emails released yesterday show that the Energy Department pushed the struggling solar company to delay announcing employee layoffs until after the 2010 midterm elections. On Oct. 25 of that year, Solyndra’s CEO sent the agency an email explaining that layoffs would... More »

Car Maker Gets $529M US Loan, Builds Car in Finland

Claims money was all spent on US design work

(Newser) - Another Energy Department loan guarantee is coming under scrutiny. ABC News has discovered that the Obama administration doled out a $529 million guarantee to Fisker Automotive to build its new state-of-the-art luxury hybrid, only to see Fisker build the car in a factory in Finland. Fisker says there were simply... More »

Treasury Worried That Solyndra Loan Was Illegal

Energy Dept. pushed ahead, amid potential conflict of interest

(Newser) - New emails are out in the Solyndra mess , and it's probably not a great day to be a guy named Steve Spinner. He is an Obama-fundraiser-turned-Energy-Department-official who pushed hard for the loan even though he promised to recuse himself—because his wife worked as an attorney for the firm... More »

Energy Loan Official Leaving Amid Solyndra Flap

White House says Jonathan Silver's departure was long planned

(Newser) - The head of the Energy Department's embattled clean-energy loan program is leaving in what officials called a planned departure. Jonathan Silver, who has headed the loan program since November 2009, is leaving to join a nonpartisan think tank. The program has come under fire from Republicans after Solyndra , a... More »

Thanks to Obama, My Toilet Won't Flush: Rand Paul

Senator slams administration's energy-efficiency rules

(Newser) - Sen. Rand Paul yesterday ripped into the Energy Department's efficiency rules, which he says require Americans to buy poorly-flushing toilets and unwanted light bulbs, reports USA Today . "My toilets don't work in my house. And I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I... More »

US Agents Were Boozing on Nuke Transport Missions

Energy watchdog exposes intoxicated nuclear weapons techs

(Newser) - Driving nuclear weapons around must be either tedious or stressful: While agents employed to do just that haven't been caught drunk behind the wheel, feds find that some have been boozing it up while on missions, the AP reports. A recent report by the US Energy Department's inspector general cites... More »

Schools Win; NASA Loses

First look at proposed 2011 budget shows sharp break between haves and have-nots

(Newser) - President Obama delivered his proposed 2011 budget to Congress today, and the Washington Post drills down to find the winners and losers. Winners first:
  • K-12 education: The Department of Education's budget will increase by 6%, or $3 billion.
  • Research: The proposal pumps up the Energy Department's budget 7%, or $2
... More »

Race for Better Light Bulb Heats Up

Philips bids for US government's $10M 'L Prize'

(Newser) - Dutch electronics giant Philips has created an LED light bulb that, if it lives up to its billing, could claim the US government’s coveted “L Prize.” More important, the new bulb could inherit the 60-watt bulb’s throne. The Energy Department is offering $10 million—and a... More »

Winter Oil Heating Costs to Fall

Demand and energy prices continue to fall

(Newser) - The cost of heating an American home with oil this winter will fall 13%, according to government price forecasts released yesterday. The average heating bill for a typical winter for oil customers will be just under $1,700, reports USA Today. But those who use natural gas for heating—who... More »

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