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Blog Category: National

Secretary Locke and Energy Secretary Steven Chu Headline Clean Energy Economy Forum with Business Leaders

Secretary Chu and Locke at podium.

File photo

Commerce Secretary Locke and Energy Secretary Chu joined Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner and other top administration officials in a Clean Energy Economy Forum at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with business leaders from around the country. “If we create the right incentives on energy, it will drive demand for clean energy and efficiency that will foster the creation of new businesses and the jobs that come with them,” Locke said. The administration officials reiterated the need for a comprehensive energy plan that puts America back in control of its energy future and breaks a dependence on oil that threatens our economy, our environment, and our national security. (Remarks)

NTIA Announces First State Broadband Mapping Grants

NTIA logo.

The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it has awarded the first four grants under NTIA’s State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program to fund activities in California, Indiana, North Carolina, and Vermont. The program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will increase broadband access and adoption through better data collection and broadband planning. The data will be displayed in NTIA’s national broadband map, a tool that will inform policymakers' efforts and provide consumers with improved information on the broadband Internet services available to them. (More)

Secretary Locke Proposes Reforms to Export Controls System to Enhance National Security, Improve Competitiveness

Secretary Locke at lectern. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke proposed reforms to modernize America’s export controls system, which will enhance national security and increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies, in a speech at the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Update Conference on Export Controls. The United States export control system seeks to prevent sensitive items from falling into the hands of those who seek to do us harm. (More) (Remarks)

Statement from Under Secretary Blank on August 2009 Personal Income and Outlays

Portrait of Under Secretary Blank.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released personal income and outlays for August 2009. Personal income rose 0.2 percent, real personal consumption expenditures jumped 0.9 percent, and real disposable personal income decreased 0.2 percent. “The recent growth in consumer spending along with the gains in housing activity, exports and industrial production suggest that the economy is beginning to expand after contracting in four consecutive quarters,” U.S. Commerce Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank said. (More) (Release)

Statement from Chief Economist Doms on Third Estimate of GDP

Portrait of Mark Dom.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released the third estimate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2009. The drop in real GDP was revised modestly to 0.7 percent at an annual rate from the second estimate of 1.0 percent. Most analysts had expected a decrease of 1.2 percent. The modest revision primarily reflected an upward revision to non-residential fixed investment. “Today's revision of real GDP in the second quarter indicates that the economy has begun to stabilize,” Mark Doms, chief economist at the U.S. Commerce Department, said. (More) (Release)

States and U.S. Territories Receive $40 Million in Grants to Improve 911 Services

NTIA logo.

The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced more than $40 million in grants to30 states and U.S. territories to help 911 call centers across the country improve the ability to locate people calling from wireless and Internet-connected telephones. “A majority of emergency 9-1-1 calls are now coming from wireless and Internet-connected telephones,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. “These grants will help first responders locate where these calls are made and to ensure that help arrives quickly.” (More)

Secretary Locke Announces New Commerce Initiatives to Foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Department of Commerce seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced his plans to create a new Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship within the Department of Commerce and launch a National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Both substantial new initiatives will help leverage the entire federal government on behalf of promoting entrepreneurship in America. The new office is expected to announce additional initiatives in the coming months. (More)

Secretary Locke Stresses Importance of Comprehensive Energy Plan for American Business

Image of Locke on podium with large-screen image to the left. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke at the National Energy Summit & International Dialogue to address the sustainable energy industry and convey the importance of the industry to the creation of new, good-paying jobs. Locke stressed that a comprehensive energy plan is central for American innovation and manufacturing, offering an opportunity for American business. The National Energy Summit, put on by the Council on Competitiveness, is a coalition of sectors with more than 350 leaders, including CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and other luminaries from across the U.S. and around the world.

Secretary Locke Unveils Plan for "Smart Grid" Interoperability

NASA Satellite Photo

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke unveiled an accelerated plan for developing standards to transform the U.S. power distribution system into a secure, more efficient and environmentally-friendly “Smart Grid” and create clean-energy jobs. Produced by Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the document identifies approximately 80 initial standards that will enable the vast number of interconnected devices and systems that will make up the nationwide “Smart Grid” to communicate and work with each other. The draft report, the first phase of NIST’s three-phase approach to develop Smart Grid standards, will be available for public comment and review for 30 days. (More) (Report) (Remarks)

Therapeutic Nanoparticles Offer Potential as Cancer-Killers

NIST logo. Click for image: An iron-centered nanoparticle (left) has a coating of the sugar dextran, whose tendrils prevent groups of the particles from clumping. When tumor cells ingest them (right), the particles still congregate closely enough to share heat when stimulated by a magnetic field, killing the cells. White arrow indicates a red blood cell.

A research team at Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) studying sugar-coated nanoparticles for use as a possible cancer therapy, has uncovered a delicate balancing act that makes the particles more effective than conventional thinking says they should be. In cooperation with The Johns Hopkins University, Dartmouth College, the University of Manitoba and two biopharmaceutical companies, the NIST team has demonstrated that the particles are potent cancer-killers because they interact with one another in ways that smaller nanoparticles do not. Click on NIST logo above for image and description or here. (More)