Federal City Digest

Federal City Digest

(Alex Brandon - AP)
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Energy Secretary Backs Clean Coal

Energy Secretary Steven Chu, above, may not be taking up former vice president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore's call for young people to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction of coal plants without the ability to store carbon -- but he is making it known that he believes in trying to make coal as clean as it can be.

In an interview yesterday with The Washington Post's Lois Romano, Chu noted that the United States has the most known coal reserves in the world and that more than half of domestic electricity is generated by coal.

"Even if the United States turns its back on coal, China and India will not, and so, given the state of affairs, I would prefer to say let's try to develop technologies that can get a large fraction of the carbon dioxide out of coal," said Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

Chu's interview is part of The Post's "New Voices of Power" video series and will appear at http://washingtonpost.com/voices-of-power tomorrow.

Homeland Security Policy Expert Named

President Obama has announced his intention to nominate David F. Heyman as assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security.

Heyman is director and senior fellow for the Homeland Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is an adjunct professor in security studies at Georgetown University.


-- The president will hold a White House event to highlight families who have seen their taxes cut. Meanwhile, in Lafayette Park, the New American Tea Party will hold a tax-day protest against taxes and government bailouts.

-- After a tour of the drought-stricken Sacramento Delta with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will announce economic stimulus funding to help water infrastructure projects in California and elsewhere.

-- Ship captain Richard Phillips, above, who was captured by pirates off the coast of Somalia and freed in a dramatic rescue by Navy SEAL snipers, will arrive at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland from Kenya tonight. His ship's owner, Maersk Line, is based in Norfolk.

-- Nancy-Ann Min DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, will speak at a briefing sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Families USA and the National Federation of Independent Business.

-- More forums are being held today in advance of Obama's departure tomorrow for Mexico and then Trinidad and Tobago, where he will attend the Summit of the Americas. In the morning, Inter-American Dialogue and WorldPublicOpinion.org will release a new survey about U.S. attitudes toward Cuba and U.S.-Cuba policy. Separately, the Americas Society Council of the Americas will host the briefing "Expectations for President Obama's Trip to Mexico and the Summit of the Americas."

-- Garance Franke-Ruta — Garance Franke-Ruta federalcity@washpost.com

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