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August 10th, 2010

DOE brings Secretary of Energy Advisory Board back to life

Published on August 10th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Deep-sixed four years ago by the Bush administration, the DOE’s Secretary of Energy Advisory Board will soon surface again after the agency today announced the formation of a new panel of 12 members from science, academia, government, military and industry.

The SEAB, formed to provide independent advice and recommendations, was axed in 2006 in a controversial move that was widely interpreted as an effort to hold energy experts at arms length from politically-motivated decision making. For example, a story in the Chemical & Engineering News at the time quoted Edwin Lyman, a senior staff scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, as saying the decision to disband the advisory panel is “a symptom of an Administration that doesn’t like to hear any kind of contrary view, that simply likes to talk to itself. The notion that the Energy Department has all the information it needs on scientific and technical issues is ludicrous.”

The SEAB was initially created in 1990 to provide the DOE secretary “with timely, balanced, external advice on issues of importance to the Secretary… The mission of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board is to provide advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy on the Department’s basic and applied research activities, economic and national security policy, educational issues, laboratory management, and on any other activities and operations of the Department of Energy as the Secretary may direct.”

A news release from DOE says the new SEAB, “will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary on the Department’s basic and applied research, economic and national security policy, educational issues, operational issues and other activities as directed by the Secretary.”

The release says will be meeting at least semi-annually or more frequently,  as needed. Previously, the SEAB did much of its work through subcommittees and its anticipated that the new board will do likewise.

Here are the new SEAB members and their affiliations:

  • Norman Augustine, former chair and CEO, Lockheed Martin; former Under Secretary for the Army
  • Ralph Cicerone, president of National Academy of Sciences
  • John Deutch, MIT chemist; former Under Secretary of Energy
  • Nicholas Donofrio, former EVP of Innovation and Technology, IBM
  • Alexis Herman, former Secretary of Labor
  • Chad Holliday Jr., former CEO of Dupont
  • Michael McQuade, senior VP of United Technologies Corp.
  • William Perry, former Secretary of Defense; Stanford University Professor
  • Arthur Rosenfeld, former commissioner of California Energy Commission
  • Susan Tierney, managing principle of Analysis Group
  • Steven Westly, managing partner of Westly Group
  • Daniel Yergin, president of Cambridge Energy Research Associates


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