OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Obama filling out energy team, changing of Big Green’s guard, and more

OBAMA NAMES SENIOR ENERGY PICKS: President Obama on Thursday announced his nominees for a pair of key Energy Department posts.

Franklin Orr is his choice to be the undersecretary for science and energy. Since 2009, he has been the director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University.

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Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz created the merged science and energy post in a big revision of the department's management structure earlier this year.

The Office of the Under Secretary for Science and Energy will oversee Energy's Office of Science as well as the Office of Fossil Energy, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Nuclear Energy and other functions.

E2-Wire wrote about the new structure here. And here’s more of Orr’s bio, via the White House:

Dr. Orr has been an associate professor and professor in the [Stanford] Department of Petroleum Engineering since 1985.  From 2002 to 2008, Dr. Orr served as the Director of the Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford.  He was the Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford from 1994 to 2002 and the Chairman of the Department of Petroleum Engineering from 1991 to 1994.

Obama also said he would nominate Marc Kastner to head the Department of Energy's Office of Science. He’s currently the dean of the School of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and headed MIT’s physics department for roughly a decade.

If confirmed, he’ll once again be a colleague of Moniz, who was a physics professor at MIT and head of the MIT Energy Initiative.

Speaking of transitions: Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, announced Thursday that she will step down next year.

It’s the latest changing of the guard at a major environmental group. E2-Wire has more on that here.

 

LOOKING AHEAD: The House is expected to vote on energy-related bills next week, including a GOP plan to thwart planned Interior Department “fracking” regulations. Click here for more.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Here’s a few more stories that ran on E2-Wire on Thursday . . .

– House panel to revisit shut down national parks
– Rep. Smith targets EPA use of ‘secret science’
– House committee approves bill to block mining rule
– EPA assailed on power plant regs
- EPA chief: Fuel mandate safe for cars

 

Mail delivery Part I: A bipartisan group of 32 senators is urging the Obama administration not to scale back the requirements for how much biodiesel must be blended into the nation’s fuel mix.

The letter arrives ahead of the Environmental Protection Agency's upcoming rule setting 2014 volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is the national biofuels blending mandate.

It urges the EPA to craft a proposal that “supports the current-year projected 1.7 billion gallons of U.S. biodiesel production.”

“Biodiesel is improving our energy security by reducing our dependence on imported petroleum diesel, diversifying fuel supplies and creating competition in the fuels market,” states the letter to administration officials from Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash,), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and 28 others.

“Setting the 2014 biodiesel volume requirement at reduced levels could have severe impacts on the domestic biodiesel industry,” it states.

Check out the whole thing here.

Mail delivery Part II: Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and more than 50 House colleagues released a letter Thursday urging an end to the wind power production tax credit.



The letter sent to House Committee on Ways and Means was signed by 52 mostly GOP lawmakers.



“We are writing to urge you to allow the wind production tax credit (PTC) to expire at the end of 2013 under current law and not to include an extension of the PTC in tax reform or tax extenders legislation,” they wrote.



“The increase in wind development is occurring despite flat demand for power and is straining the electric grid and threatening reliability with a dramatic increase in an intermittent power resource,” the letter adds. Check it out here.

 

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, or Laura Barron-Lopez, laurab@thehill.com