U.S. Department of Commerce Makes $30 Million Available to Assist America’s Coal Communities

To support locally-driven efforts in coal country to spur job growth, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) making $30 million in funds available to assist coal communities through the 2017 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2017) initiative.

“The Trump administration is working every day to help America’s coal industry, its workers, and their communities,” said Secretary Ross. “This funding is one element of a government-wide effort to restore American jobs, and renew the areas hardest hit by misguided regulations.”

Since taking office, President Trump and his Administration have reversed regulations that have drastically squeezed the American energy sector, eliminated constricting energy restrictions that would have shackled the United States’ economy under the Paris climate change accord, blocked the EPA’s and other agencies needless war on coal, and, in conjunction with Congress, acted swiftly to roll back many of the burdensome regulations and laws which have strangled many American communities.

These critical policy shifts have resulted in a better deal for coal country and tangible results for American workers who have gone ignored for far too long.

The $30 million in ACC 2017 funds available for application are targeted to directly assist communities and regions severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and re-employment opportunities. Under the ACC 2017 initiative, EDA is seeking applications for projects and activities that will:

  • Support the creation of new businesses and jobs in a variety of industry sectors,
  • Create or implement economic diversification strategies targeting affected workers and businesses,
  • Develop a business incubator program,
  • Enhance access to and use of broadband services to support job growth,
  • Facilitate access to private capital investment, and provide related capacity building and technical assistance, or
  • Promote market access for goods and services created and manufactured by businesses in the impacted community/region.

Under the ACC 2017 initiative, the term coal economy is used to refer to the complete ecosystem of coal-reliant industries and businesses. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Coal Mining; and/or
  • Coal-Fired Power Plants; and/or
  • Related Transportation, and/or Logistics, and/or Supply Chain Manufacturing Industries.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to the NOFA on grants.gov for more details on the ACC 2017 funding, including eligibility, matching-fund requirements, and other information.

For additional information about ACC 2017, please visit the EDA’s ACC 2017 webpage at: www.eda.gov/coal.

Energy Department to Continue Uranium Transfers to Support Mission Activities

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has issued a Determination permitting the Department of Energy (DOE) to continue making uranium transfers to support ongoing clean-up work at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Ohio, while also reducing the total amount of those transfers per year from 1,600 metric tons of uranium (MTU) to 1,200 MTU.

An analysis conducted by DOE to inform this Determination found that future transfers for cleanup work at a rate of up to 1,600 MTU per year would not constitute an adverse material impact to the domestic uranium mining, conversion, and enrichment industries. After further review, and in an effort to be responsive to feedback from industry, lawmakers, labor unions, and other stakeholders, this Determination will permit uranium transfers at a reduced rate of 1,200 MTU per year. Transfers at that rate will begin after May 1, 2017, to provide funds for the cleanup mission at the Portsmouth site – resulting in no workforce reductions or impacts to ongoing work in FY 2017.

DOE has been transferring excess uranium in exchange for services at the Portsmouth site for several years, and current law requires that a new Secretarial Determination be made every two years to assess whether future planned transfers would have an adverse material impact on the domestic uranium industries. The last Secretarial Determination for uranium transfers in support of this clean-up work was issued on May 1, 2015.

Asia Nuclear Business Platform 2017 (TFC Event)

nbpf 2017

Asia Nuclear Business Platform will be held for the 5th consecutive year in Shanghai from May 16-18, 2017.

The past four editions of the event have seen tremendous support from U.S., Asia and International companies.

According to a recent report from the World Nuclear Association, nuclear power generation between 2014 to 2025 is projected to grow by 1400 GWe, over 120 GWe per year, which will account for 46% of the world’s new capacity. Much of this growth will be in China, Japan, India and Korea. The nuclear share of this to 2020 is expected to be considerable in three of those countries, especially if environmental constraints limit fossil fuel expansion nuclear business transactions.

Connect, interact and network with over 150 industry experts exploring NPP new build in Asia and 50+ international industry experts with a combined 100+ reactor years of experience.

Edward McGinnis, Deputy Asst. Secretary, Office of Nuclear Energy, US Department of Energy has confirmed his attendance.

This year’s show will feature a site visit to the Shanghai Electric manufacturing base, which is the biggest nuclear equipment manufacturing base in China.
There will be multiple sessions tailored to financing and risk management, localisation, human resource development and licensing.

For more information, please visit the event website at [http://www.nuclearbusiness-platform.com/asia/].

Energy Department Announces New National Laboratory Collaborations with 38 Small Businesses

Washington, DC – April 21,at Earth Day Texas 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the 38 small businesses that will collaborate with national lab researchers through the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot. SBV facilitates access to the DOE national labs for American small businesses, enabling them to tap into the intellectual and technical resources they need to overcome critical technology challenges for their advanced energy products and gain a global competitive advantage. Eight DOE national laboratories will receive funding to partner with 38 competitively selected small businesses across the country.

“Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and those working on advanced energy technologies play an important role in ensuring our nation’s energy security and independence,” said Energy Secretary Rick Perry during his remarks at Earth Day Texas. “The Small Business Vouchers program is a great example of how DOE’s innovative public-private collaborations are ensuring our investments in DOE national labs are maintaining and strengthening U.S. competitiveness long-term.”

In the first two rounds of the program, 12 DOE national labs received funding to partner with 76 small businesses. With today’s announcement, SBV will have forged partnerships between 114 American small businesses and the national labs. A full list of SBV projects and participating DOE national labs is available at http://www.SBV.org.

The eight DOE national laboratories participating in the new round of collaborations are home to some of the most advanced, cutting edge facilities in the world, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, Argonne National Laboratory’s Prototype Cell Fabrication Facility, and Sandia National Laboratories’ Scaled Wind Farm Technology Facility.

Small businesses developing advanced technologies often need unique facilities and experts to test, develop, and validate their innovative products. DOE national labs house these capabilities, but accessing the labs is a challenge most small businesses can’t overcome. SBV facilitates access to the DOE national labs for qualified small businesses by making the contracting process simple, lab practices transparent, and the labs’ unique facilities available.

DOE labs participating in the new round of collaboration include: Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Savannah River National Laboratory.  

Perry Sworn in as 14th Secretary of United States Department of Energy

WASHINGTON – Former Texas Governor Rick Perry was sworn in on March 2, 2017, as the 14th Secretary of the United States Department of Energy.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Energy. As Secretary, I will advocate and promote American energy in all forms. America has been blessed with vast natural resources and the technology to utilize them. I am committed to helping provide stable, reliable, affordable, and secure sources of American energy. An American first energy strategy is important to create jobs and grow the economy.

“I am also committed to maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent while reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation. We will also continue the important mission of carrying out the environmental clean-up from the Cold War nuclear mission,” said Secretary Perry.
“I have a long record of aggressively courting leading scientific minds to set forth innovation, solutions, and job creation strategies. Our scientists and labs are the envy of the world, and I am a major proponent of maintaining American leadership in the area of scientific inquiry.”

During Perry’s 14 years as Governor, he proved economic growth and increased energy production can be accomplished alongside caring for the environment. During his tenure, Texas created 2.2 million jobs.

Texas led the nation in energy production — not just in oil and gas, but also in wind energy. Texas now produces more wind energy than all but six countries in the world.
Under his leadership, Texas reduced its carbon footprint by 17%, reduced sulfur dioxide by 56%, and nitrogen oxide by 66%. Despite having a rapidly growing population and one of the largest petrochemical refining industries in the world, Texas saw its air quality improve.

Perry brings the executive experience and management skills honed during his time as governor to the leadership of the Department of Energy.

Perry is a veteran of the United States Air Force. He married his childhood sweetheart, Anita, in 1982. They have two children and two granddaughters.

Follow Secretary Perry on Twitter.

2017 The International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE)

Tuesday, March 7 – Friday, March 10
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Convention Center
Exhibits 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 11
Exhibits 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* Times are Pacific Standard Time (PST).

The International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE) returns every three years to showcase the latest innovations and expertise in the fluid power, power transmission and motion control industries.

Attendance by Job Title

Las Vegas welcomes IFPE 2017 to the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 7-11, 2017. No other show brings as many sectors of the fluid power, power transmission and motion control industries together in one place. IFPE is co-located with CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017, the largest international gathering place for the construction industries.

Who Exhibits

You’ll have access to the latest products and innovations from over 450 exhibitors. IFPE 2017 features product concentration areas, making it easy for attendees to locate specific products, services and exhibitors of interest. Exhibitor product categories include:

Attendee Primary Interest

  • Electrical & Mechanical Power Transmission 
  • Industrial Hydraulics
  • Mobile Hydraulics
  • Water Hydraulics
  • Pneumatics

Who Attends

From suppliers to service providers, engineers and manufacturers, IFPE brings fluid power professionals from across all disciplines. No other show’s attendees represent more sectors of the fluid power industry than IFPE.

  • Aerospace/Defense
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Amusement Machinery
  • Automotive Mfg./Supplier
  • Chemical & Petroleum Processing
  • Construction/Mining/Logging
  • Distribution
  • Electrical Machinery
  • Engineering Services
  • Factory Automation
  • Fluid Power Products
  • Industrial Truck Tractor & Stacker
  • Instruments, Controls
  • Machine Tools
  • Material Handling
  • Metal Processing
  • Off-Highway Vehicles
  • On-Highway Vehicles (not autos)
  • Plastics/Rubber Working Machinery
  • Power Transmission

U.S. Forest Service and Coca-Cola Announce the Restoration of One Billion Liters of Water

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Coca-Cola North America President Sandy Douglas today announced that their partnership to restore and protect damaged watersheds on national forests achieved a milestone of one billion liters of water restored, and that the partnership will commit to double that outcome through 2018. The 13 restoration areas are located on national forest land, which provides drinking water to more than 60 million Americans, and they ensure future generations will have access to fresh water.

“This milestone that Coca-Cola, USDA and our partners have reached is just the latest example of how partnerships between the public and private sectors can reach more people, harness more innovation, and do more good than either government or businesses can achieve alone,” said Vilsack. “America’s 193 million acres of public forests and grasslands supply the drinking water for 60 million Americans, support approximately 200,000 full and part time jobs and contribute over $13 billion to local communities each year. This partnership is based on shared goals of ensuring healthy watersheds and public engagement that serves those local communities, and will continue to deliver on that commitment for years to come.”

“A thriving watershed is critical to every community we serve and to our business,” said Douglas. “Coca-Cola is on a journey and plans to continue to replenish 100 percent of the water we use in our beverages and their production and return it to nature and communities. We could not accomplish the milestone we celebrate today without the expertise, guidance and resources of the USDA, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Forest Foundation and many other organizations and community partners. In the coming years, we will continue to work together to build scale and expand these projects and partnerships.”

This public-private partnership includes community organizations and taps their collective expertise to address increasing stress on water resources during challenging budget times. Dozens of local communities and hundreds of volunteers and youth worked together on water resource management education and stewardship activities.

The Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico is an example of the public-private partnerships approach. Local partners worked together to help restore an alpine meadow and enhanced a natural wetland habitat. By slowing the flow of Placer Creek, a tributary of the Rio Grande, the local team helped to restore a biodiverse meadow habitat and replenish the groundwater that contributes to the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico’s water supply. The meadow restoration project is expected to replenish approximately 49 million liters of water per year.

To date, Coca-Cola has contributed more than $2 million to the National Forest Foundation (NFF), a Congressionally chartered foundation, to support USDA Forest Service water restoration projects. NFF has also contributed funding, expertise and overall project management, including the meadow restoration on the Carson National Forest.

“One of the primary purposes of the 1897 Act that established our National Forests, was to ensure the long-term supply of water for our country” Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said. “More than 100 years later, the stewardship of these public lands for forest and watershed health continues to be essential in ensuring an adequate water supply and providing high-quality water for needs across the United States.”

Project listing by National Forest (some forests have multiple projects on site)

  • Angeles National Forest, California: The Angeles National Forest provides critical resources for the approximately 13 million people who live within an hour’s drive of the forest. In 2009, the Station Fire damaged 252 square miles of forest, which allowed numerous invasive weed species to colonize upland in riparian ecosystems affected by the fire. In response to the fire’s devastation and associated ecological changes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service staff partnered with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and local communities to develop a 5-year restoration plan for Big Tujunga Canyon, ultimately expanding this work to the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
  • Carson National Forest, New Mexico: Historic and current recreational mining were threatening wetlands, a rare and critical resource in arid New Mexico. In addition, eroding gullies were adding sediment to area waterways. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service partnered with the National Forest Foundation, Coca-Cola, others to design a restoration strategy to prevent further loss of wetland, while also improving water quality in Placer Creek and Comanche Creek. The partnership also focused on enhancing important habitat for native flora and fauna.
  • Eldorado National Forest, California: The Mokelumne River supplies drinking water to 1.3 million people in the East San Francisco Bay and is vulnerable to upstream environmental damage. Ecological restoration projects like the one completed by the Indian Valley partnership improve the function of forest and wetland ecosystems, providing for the species that rely on them. More resilient ecosystems benefit downstream communities—like those in the East San Francisco Bay—by helping provide a consistent and clean supply of water.
  • Huron-Manistee National Forests, Michigan: Since 2008, the Huron-Manistee National Forests and the Oceana County Road Commission have been working to replace deficient road stream crossings in the White River watershed, including along Osborne and Brayton Creeks. Undersized road-stream crossings prevent aquatic organism passage and contribute to frequent flood events that were causing severe erosion and deteriorating the upstream valley. Replacing culverts with bridges helped resolve both environmental impacts.
  • Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Illinois: The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie was established in 1996 on the U.S. Army’s former Joliet Arsenal. Portions of the prairie—including the South Prairie Creek Outwash Plain—were heavily degraded by previous management actions. Partners focused their efforts on this particular portion of the landscape, replanting native grasses, treating invasive weeds, and removing agricultural drain tile. This prairie restoration improves the capacity to retain water, contributes to the formation of wetlands, and connects this area to Prairie Creek.
  • Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington: The Methow River basin provides spawning areas for Spring Chinook salmon, as well as spawning steelhead, cutthroat trout, and bull trout. By reestablishing active beaver colonies to area streams, the partnership helped reestablish key watershed processes that support these fish species. Beaver colonies reintegrate dams into the area surface water, establishing wetlands, expanding habitat, and increasing the regularity of flows. In addition, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service and its partners gain a better understanding of the ecological effects of climate change, this project demonstrates an adaptive practice that offsets snowpack loss by storing water in beaver wetlands.
  • Pike-San Isabel National Forests, Colorado: Burning nearly 140,000 acres, the 2002 Hayman Fire has had significant impacts on the municipal drinking water source area for the city of Denver, CO. The Pike-San Isabel National Forest worked with the National Forest Foundation, Coca-Cola, and other partners to address post-fire restoration needs through NFF’s Treasured Landscapes campaign, a multimillion dollar public-private partnership.

For more information and a full list and description of these individual restoration projects, visit the Forest Service partnership