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The Commerce 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)

Commerce Deputy Secretary Hightower Promotes Export Opportunities to Small Businesses

Hightower on podium. Click for larger image.

Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis F. Hightower met with small business owners to discuss the key role exports will play in Detroit’s economic recovery. During his address at the “ExportsLive! Real Deals—Real Profits” seminar, Hightower stressed how exports will help revive businesses and create good-paying jobs. The gathering of small business leaders is geared toward helping companies grow and expand in global markets. The seminar was organized by the Export-Import Bank and included the participation of six federal agencies. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Discusses Clean Energy Jobs in Copenhagen

Locke gesturing from the podium. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered the keynote address at the “Clean Energy Jobs in the Global Marketplace” forum at the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen today. Locke discussed the Obama administration’s historic investments in clean energy and commitment to build a sustainable, clean energy global economy that drives investment and creates jobs at home and abroad. While President Obama has already done more to mitigate climate change than any president in U.S. history, Locke stressed that this is only the beginning of what must be done. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Statement on November 2009 Retail Sales Numbers

U.S. Department of Commerce seal.

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau released retail sales data for November 2009. Retail sales rose 1.3 percent, compared with an expected rise of 0.7 percent. Motor vehicle sales rose 1.6 percent, the second advance following the September drop related to the end of the Cash-For-Clunkers program. Sales excluding the volatile motor vehicle and gasoline components rose 0.6 percent, the fourth consecutive advance. (More) (Release)

Secretary Locke to Travel to Copenhagen to Discuss Administration's Commitment to Spur Clean Energy Technology, Reinvigorate the Economy

U.S. COP-15 logo. Click to go to State Department Web site.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Copenhagen on Friday to discuss the Obama administration’s commitment to meet clean energy and climate change challenges and the promise clean energy development holds for spurring innovation, reinvigorating the economy and creating jobs. Secretary Locke has been a leading voice in the administration promoting innovation and investment in the clean energy economy. (More) (Commerce COP-15 Web site) (U.S. Center Web site)

Secretary Locke Statement on October 2009 Trade Numbers

Department of Commerce seal

On the eve of his trip to Copenhagen, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the October 2009 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports increased by 2.6 percent to $136.8 billion since September 2009. Imports to the U.S. increased 0.4 percent to $169.8 billion. The trade deficit shrank 7.6 percent to $32.9 billion from a revised $35.7 in September. (More) (Release) (Fact sheet)

Under Secretary Blank to Help Census Bureau Kick Off Chicago 2010 Census In Schools Program

Blank at microphone. Click for larger image.

U.S. Department of Commerce Under Secretary Rebecca Blank, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, several former NFL players and students from King College Preparatory High School help U.S. Census Bureau officials launch the national 2010 Census in Schools program in Chicago. The program, "2010 Census: It's About Us," gives schools a wide range of free, optional, standards-based lesson plans on subjects related to the census, ranging from math to social studies. The program is designed for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and will reach all 118,000 schools and 56 million students nationwide. (More) (Fact Sheet-PDF)

Commerce Department Announces New Open Government Initiatives

U.S. Department of Commerce seal

The U.S. Commerce Department announced several initiatives that reflect President Obama’s commitment to increasing transparency and accountability in Washington and ensuring greater access and information for the American people. “President Obama took office with a call for unprecedented openness in government, and we are heeding that call,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “Americans have a right to understand the decisions made by their government, and today’s announcement will shed important light on them.” (More)