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Blog Entries from 2009

NOAA Highlights Tsunami Advances, Urges Quick Action When Tsunami Threatens

Logo of TsunamiReady Community. Click to go to TsunamiReady Web site.

NOAA’s TsunamiReady Community

In December 2004, lack of an effective international warning system contributed to unprecedented loss of life when a tsunami devastated countless communities around the Indian Ocean and stunned the rest of the world. Through Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States accelerated preparation for a potential tsunami along the U.S. coastline and efforts to build partnerships for an international warning program. According to NOAA tsunami experts, the key to surviving a destructive tsunami is people’s ability to receive warnings and willingness to act quickly to move inland or to higher ground. (More)

Secretary Locke and Vice President Biden Host Middle Class Task Force Meeting Focused on Manufacturing

Official White House logo

Secretary Gary Locke joined Vice President Joe Biden to host a Middle Class Task Force meeting on the future of manufacturing. At the meeting, Biden announced the administration’s support for up to $10 billion in additional funding for a successful Recovery Act program to accelerate job growth in clean energy manufacturing—tripling the funding of the Recovery Act’s Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit. Other meeting participants included Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Summers, and business, labor and academic leaders in the manufacturing sector. (Remarks) (Middle Class Task Force Web site)

Secretary Locke Statement on November 2009 New Residential Construction

Department of Commerce seal.

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Bureau of the Census today released data on new residential construction in November 2009. Permits rose 6.0 percent in November and starts increased 8.9 percent, in both cases exceeding market expectations. Permits have risen 17.3 percent above their low in April, and starts have advanced 19.8 percent above their April low point. These gains reflected increases in single-family activity, while multi-family starts have increased modestly. (More) (Release)

Secretary Locke Joins Vice President Biden in White House Roundtable on Enforcing Laws Against IP Piracy

Pictured are Presidential Senior Adviser Valerie Jarret, Secretary Gary Locke, Attorney General Eric Holder and Vice President Joe Biden. Click for larger image.

Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a roundtable discussion on enforcing laws against intellectual property piracy. They were joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Director Robert Mueller, USSS Director Mark Sullivan, as well as CEOs from major media conglomerates, union representatives, legal experts and other government officials. The White House meeting is the first of its kind and brought together stakeholders to discuss ways to combat intellectual property piracy in this rapidly-changing technological age.

Demonstration Network Planned for Public Safety 700 MHz Broadband

NIST logo. Click to go to NIST Web site.

Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have announced plans to create a demonstration broadband communications network for the nation’s emergency services agencies using a portion of the radiofrequency spectrum freed up by the recent transition of U.S. broadcast television from analog to digital technologies. This demonstration network is currently in the preliminary planning stages and is expected to go live in mid-2010. (More)

Census: China's Population Projected to Peak in 2026, India to Become Most Populous Country in 2025

Census Bureau logo. Click to go to Census Bureau Web site.

China’s population is projected to peak at slightly less than 1.4 billion in 2026, both earlier and at a lower level than previously projected. Meanwhile, India’s population is projected to surpass China’s population in 2025, according to new data being released by the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau. These figures come from the population estimates and projections for 227 countries and areas released through the Census Bureau’s International Data Base. This release includes revisions for 21 countries, including China. (More)

Census Bureau Director Groves Gives Update on 2010 Census

Groves addressing the press. Click for larger image.

Dr. Robert Groves, director of the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau, updated the media on the status of the 2010 Census, announcing that an operation to update the Census Bureau’s address list earlier this year was successful and completed ahead of schedule. The address list will also continue to be updated throughout the next several months, as we approach Census Day, April 1, 2010, ensuring that every household will receive a questionnaire or be visited by a census worker. Dr. Groves also announced that all 494 local census offices across the nation are now open and recruiting has begun in targeted local areas. (2010 Census Web site) (2010 Census Blog)

NOAA Assesses Post-Tsunami Marine Debris in American Samoa

Submerged marine debris off Amanave Village in southwestern Tutuila. Click for larger image.

A team from Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has begun a survey of marine debris generated by the devastating September 29 tsunami in American Samoa. The team is carefully measuring the amount and impact of debris such as roofing and domestic goods in coral reef habitat near villages severely affected by the tsunami. Tsunamis are a natural occurrence, and corals can recover from damage by waves, sediment and plant debris resulting from a tsunami. Marine debris, however, can be very different. (More)

Secretary Locke Opens the Bright Green Expo in Copenhagen

Secretary Locke at podium, Bright Green Expo. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke at the opening ceremony of the Bright Green Expo today at the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen. The U.S. Department of Commerce, along with the Confederation of Danish Industry, hosted Bright Green to showcase companies, including dozens of U.S. companies that are already leading the way with innovation and intelligent technologies as the solution to the global climate challenge. Locke viewed the technologies on display and expressed support for what businesses are doing to transform the way the world uses energy. (Remarks) (Commerce at COP-15/Blog)

Secretary Locke Blogs from Copenhagen Climate Summit

Locke gesturing from podium with pen in hand.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke blogged on the Commerce Department’s COP-15 Web site today about his experiences thus far at the landmark conference on global climate change. In the post, Locke urges the country to seize the opportunity presented by comprehensive energy legislation to limit our dependence on foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create clean energy businesses and jobs. “America has the ability and the obligation to preserve our planet and create good, new jobs,” Secretary Locke said. (Commerce Copenhagen Web site)