Obama announces picks for Nuclear Regulatory Commission

President Obama has named two energy experts to fill soon-to-be openings at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Obama on Tuesday said he intends to nominate Jeff Baran, current energy aide to retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who is the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to the commission.

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The president also plans to nominate Stephen Burns, who formerly served as general counsel to the NRC.

The pending nominations come after an NRC commissioner, George Apostolakis, left the commission on June 30, after the White House did not renominate him.

The White House is also facing pressure to seek the resignation of another commissioner, Bill Magwood.

Earlier this year, Magwood said he accepted the position of director general for the Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency, and would leave the NRC by late summer to join the agency Sept. 1.

Green groups have pressed Obama to demand Magwood resign due to what they are calling a conflict of interest for taking a job with an agency that promotes nuclear energy.