Commerce.gov is getting a facelift soon. See the new design.
Syndicate content

The Commerce Blog

Secretary Locke Announces $10.27 Million in Grants to Gulf Coast Region

Grants to aid economic recovery for communities impacted by BP oil spill

Following his second visit to the Gulf Coast to talk with local businesses impacted by the BP oil spill, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced today eight grants for the Gulf region totaling $10.27 million – most for economic development planning and coastal management.

Locke heard firsthand from affected businesses last week when he traveled to Mobile, Ala., Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans, La.

“People’s livelihoods across the Gulf are at risk,” Locke said. “From day one, the Obama administration has been committed to containing the damage from the BP oil spill and extending to the people of the Gulf the help they need to confront this ordeal. These grants are one more aspect of the administration-wide commitment to doing whatever it takes to help folks deal with the unexpected challenges brought on by this environmental disaster.”

Three grants will be administered through the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and five other grants will be administered through Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (NOAA).  Read more

Secretary Locke Discusses Clean Energy Technologies at Energy Efficiency Forum

Secretary Locke on podium in front of audienceU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered the keynote address, "Connections between Energy Efficiency and the Economy” at the 21st annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington today. In his remarks, Locke said,

"Investments in emerging technologies like solar, wind and advanced batteries are vital to this nation's future, and the Obama administration is making unprecedented investments to help them grow. . . .  The president has already made $80 billion in clean energy investments through the Recovery Act – with a good portion going to the type of basic R&D that is often too risky or too expensive for private sector investors."

The 2010 Energy Efficiency Forum, sponsored by the U.S. Energy Association and Johnson Controls, brings together leading energy experts, policy makers, business executives, and top administration officials to discuss the critical role that energy efficiency in buildings, vehicles and industry plays as the foundation for international agreements, national strategies and local actions.  Remarks

Secretary Locke Addresses 78th Annual Meeting of U.S. Conference of Mayors

Image of conference video clip with president of mayor conference and LockeU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Oklahoma City for the 78th annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors held at the Cox Convention Center. Locke addressed the crowd on the final day of the conference, and Commerce’s Assistant Secretary for Economic Development John Fernandez and Census Bureau Director Robert Groves spoke over the weekend. The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. Each city is represented at the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

On Sunday, a special session highlighted the conference with mayors from Gulf Coast cities dealing with the BP oil spill and its devastating after-effects. During the session, mayors discussed a resolution put forth by the mayors of Baton Rouge, La., and Tallahassee, Fla., that calls for increased federal efforts to access, mitigate and recover from the environmental and economic damage of the disaster and work closely with other local officials in all phases of the national response. Locke visited the Gulf Coast region last Thursday and spoke with local businesses that have been impacted economically by the oil spill. Remarks  Secretary's Conference video

Gainesville Region Receives Additional EDA Grant, University of Florida Breaks Ground for New Tech Business Incubator

Officials with shovels at groundbreaking ceremonyU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $1.670 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to Santa Fe College and the District Board of Trustees of Santa Fe College of Gainesville, Florida to build a biotechnology laboratory and classroom addition to the new Emerging Technologies Center. The project is expected to create 270 jobs and generate $380 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.  More from Santa Fe College

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez participated also in the groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Florida’s Innovation Hub in Gainesville, Fla.  The project received $8.2 million in funding from Commerce's EDA last year to help build the tech business incubator, which will serve as a catalyst for emerging and existing start-up companies seeking to bring to market technologies developed by the university and its research partners.  The project is expected to create 300 jobs and generate $30 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

 

NOAA Launches Website With Online Mapping Tool to Track Gulf Response

Image of mapping tool

The dynamic nature of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill has been a challenge for a range of communities--from hotel operators to fishermen to local community leaders. And the American people have questions about the response to this crisis.

Today, Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launches a new federal Web site meant to answer those questions with clarity and transparency--a one-stop shop for detailed near-real-time information about the response to the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. The Web site incorporates data from the various agencies that are working together to tackle the spill.

Originally designed for responders, who make operational decisions, to the oil spill disaster, http://www.GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse integrates the latest data on the oil spill’s trajectory, fishery closed areas, wildlife and place-based Gulf Coast resources--such as pinpointed locations of oiled shoreline and daily position of research ships--into one customizable interactive map.

Image of Deep Drill 3 platformThe launch of the public site is designed to facilitate communication and coordination among a variety of users--from federal, state and local responders to local community leaders and the public--the site is designed to be fast, user-friendly and constantly updated.

Beyond NOAA data, the site includes data from Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, the Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA, NASA , U.S. Geological Survey and the Gulf states . Agencies contribute data through the response data sharing mechanism within the command posts. This includes posting geospatial data on a common server, allowing access and use for multiple spatial platforms.

“This Web site provides users with an expansive, yet detailed geographic picture of what’s going on with the spill; Gulf Coast fisherman, recreational boaters, beach users and birders will be able to become more informed,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. “It’s a common operational picture that allows the American people to see how their government is responding to the crisis.”

Developed through a joint partnership between NOAA and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center, the site is a Web-based GIS platform designed specifically for response activities where it is necessary to coordinate with various federal, state and local agencies. The site will serve as the official federal source for map-based data.  Interactive Map   Deepwater Horizon update

http://gomex.erma.noaa.gov/

Senior Commerce Official Wade to Lead Trade Mission to Dominican Republic and Jamaica

Rick Wade, senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, will lead a delegation of 10 small- and medium-sized U.S. businesses on a trade mission to Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Kingston, Jamaica, June 13-19 to promote U.S. exports in the Caribbean.

The trade mission will give participating U.S. companies the opportunity to meet with potential business partners and network with key Dominican and Jamaican government and industry officials. The business delegation will promote U.S. products and services in a range of consumer goods, construction and automotive sectors with foreign buyers and governments.

Trade missions are an important component to achieving the goals of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports within five years to support the creation of two million jobs. This mission will help open doors for U.S. firms interested in entering or expanding their presence in the Caribbean region. Read more

Secretary Locke Visits Gulf Coast, Holds Economic Impact Meetings With Business Leaders

At the direction of President Obama, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke travels to the Gulf Coast today to meet with local officials and business owners impacted by the BP oil spill. In Mobile, Ala., Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans, La., Locke will hear directly from area businesses affected by the disaster.

During his visit to the region, Locke will hold economic impact meetings in all three cities and fly over the coastal regions of the Gulf between Biloxi and New Orleans. Mayor Mitch Landrieu will join Locke at the New Orleans meeting. In the evening, Locke will visit a bait shop to hear how the oil spill has affected the business.

The Obama administration has mobilized one of the largest responses to a catastrophic event in history, authorizing 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to participate in the response. More than 24,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines, and more than 4,500 vessels are responding on-site, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts.

Read more

USPTO: New Exhibit on Food Opens at National Inventors Hall of Fame

Mr. Peanut® character costumeUnder Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos and Alexandria, Va.,  Mayor Bill Euille presided at the opening ceremony of this unique, new exhibit today at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria. This is the first major exhibit installation to come to the National Inventors Hall of Fame since it was relocated to Alexandria from Akron, Ohio, in March 2009.

Inventive Eats: Incredible Food Innovations highlights how our breakfast cereals, sandwiches, dinner entrees and more have been transformed by significant events, discoveries and inventions. It features the important role many of the National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees have played in the array of appetizing innovations that have made the food we eat safer, healthier and more economical.

Image of walk-in kitchen from 1950sVisuals include:

  • A full-size Mr. Peanut® character costume from the 1960s, used for Planters marketing, and additional Mr. Peanut artifacts
  • A 1950s fully stocked walk-in kitchen
  • 19th century patent models, including models of a refrigerator, an egg beater, a flour sifter and the original Mason jar
  • Displays of other well-known trademark food characters, such as the Pillsbury Doughboy® and the Green Giant®
  • A Tappan vintage microwave from 1955, the first for home use 
  • A 19th century patented beehive

Secretary Locke Co-Hosts CNBC's 'Closing Bell With Maria Bartiromo'


U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is in New York City today to co-host CNBC’s “Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo” live from the New York Stock Exchange. Locke will discuss his recent clean energy trade mission to China and Indonesia and the steps the Obama administration has taken to right the economy with host Maria Bartiromo during the second hour of the show’s broadcast. He is the first Cabinet Secretary to co-host the program. “Closing Bell” airs Monday through Friday from 3-5 p.m. EDT and covers the last hour of trading in the U.S. stock markets. Program video clip.

Rick Wade Discusses Haiti's Recovery and Reconstruction Needs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania companies gained insight into medium- and long-term plans for rebuilding efforts in Haiti and learned how they can engage in the process today at a Haiti Reconstruction Forum in Philadelphia. Rick Wade, senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and head of the Commerce Department’s Haiti business outreach, delivered the conference’s opening and closing remarks.

“Addressing Haiti’s tragedy has been a clear priority for the Obama administration and significant resources have been devoted to help the victims of the earthquake,” Wade said. “Many U.S. and international firms will play a crucial role in Haiti’s recovery by providing the type of investment and technical training that Haiti needs to ensure its long-term development.”

Hosted by the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, the event connected public sector experts in procurement, trade and financing with Pennsylvania companies offering expertise in critical areas such as power and energy, transportation and port construction, housing, health care, machinery and apparel joint ventures.

Release