In this issue:

 

 

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LAUNCHES RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY EXPORT INITIATIVE
The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative, an eight-agency effort co-chaired by the Departments of Energy and Commerce, is the country’s first federal government coordinated program to facilitate a significant increase in renewable energy and energy efficiency exports over the next five years.

According to a press release issued by the Department of Energy (DOE), the prospects for U.S. technology exports focusing on this industry are vast. More than 100 countries now have policies to encourage the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, and many of these countries have substantial deployment targets that will drive demand for renewable energy and energy efficiency for years to come.

"Expanding U.S. clean technology exports is a critical step to ensuring America's economic competitiveness in the years ahead," said DOE Secretary Steven Chu.  "The initiatives we are announcing today will provide us with a better understanding of the global clean energy marketplace and help boost U.S. exports."

The report on which the new initiative is based was co-authored by DOE and the Department of Commerce and is available at:  http://export.gov/reee/eg_main_023036.asp

For more information about this initiative, please visit: http://www.energy.gov/news/9864.htm

Robert Rains handles public policy-related energy issues for ASME.  He can be reached at Rainsr@asme.org

 

 

UPTON, HALL TO CHAIR ENERGY AND SCIENCE PANELS, RESPECTIVELY
On December 7th, the House Republican Steering Committee announced its recommendations for committee chairmen for the 112th Congress. The full GOP Conference ratified those recommendations the following day. Of specific interest to ASME members are the chairs of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Science and Technology Committee.

Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee since 1991, will become chair of that committee next year. In a memorandum to his Republican colleagues, Upton outlined his agenda as follows:

“My vision for the Energy and Commerce Committee is a conservative agenda that focuses on cutting spending, removing the regulatory burden, restoring freedom, keeping government accountable through rigorous oversight, and jobs. We are going to take a coordinated approach that involves other Committees and our Conference, and focuses on an aggressive communications strategy that effectively articulates our message to the American people.”

The entire memorandum may be read at: http://upton.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Upton_Colleague_Memo.pdf

Upton is anticipated to announce subcommittee chairmanships during the week of December 13th.

Current Ranking Member of the Science and Technology Committee Ralph Hall (R-TX) will move into the chairman’s slot in the 112th Congress. He issued the following statement upon his confirmation as incoming chair:

“Advancements in science and technology will create jobs, keep America at the forefront of innovation, and drive economic growth.  Smart investments in basic research and development, coupled with proper business and tax incentives, will spur innovation and allow American businesses to commercialize and manufacture technologies here in the United States. Our Committee will help ensure that taxpayer dollars are invested wisely in research and development programs by providing effective oversight of existing programs and by eliminating wasteful and duplicative programs and streamlining programs where needed.”

Representative Hall’s entire statement is available at
http://ralphhall.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=26&parentid=6§iontree=6,26&itemid=264

 

 

POLL: AMERICANS CONCERNED ABOUT LONG-TERM PROSPERITY
A recent poll conducted by the Allstate Corporation and the National Journal found that the American public is deeply concerned about the strength of the U.S. economy and the nation’s long-term global competitiveness. The seventh quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll focused on how Americans view U.S. workforce competitiveness and the American manufacturing sector as a key driver of job creation. Underscoring American’s anxiety about the future, the results of the national telephone survey showed that only 34 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. will have the world’s strongest economy 20 years from now, contrasting with 37 percent who felt that China would outshine all other countries and regions by 2030.

“Americans clearly understand the global economic landscape has changed,” said Thomas J. Wilson, Allstate chairman, president and chief executive officer. “As a result, they are concerned about their future and that of their children. They want public and private leaders to put aside ideological fundamentalism and make compromises to move the country forward. Businesses need to expand their investment in U.S. growth. Public sector leaders must support manufacturing, research and education. Our common goal should be for America to remain the most advanced, most innovative, and largest economy in the world.”

The poll identified several key personal, financial and economic concerns:

  • Americans believe the U.S. now lags behind China as the strongest economy in the world and are deeply pessimistic about the current track of the country.
  • The manufacturing sector is seen as fundamental to the U.S. economy and a top priority for government investment and protection, even if it means more federal spending and involvement.
  • Americans see global competition as a major reason for economic problems in the U.S.
  • The American workforce has not lost faith in the “American Dream,” despite serious concerns about the current state of the economy and remains optimistic about America’s long-term prosperity and economic resilience.
  • Americans want leaders in Washington to work together and place a greater priority on investment for job creation than on deficit reduction.

Additional information about the poll is available at: http://www.allstate.com/Allstate/content/refresh-attachments/Allstate_Heartland_Monitor_VII_Press_Release.pdf

The poll was conducted via telephone from November 29th until December 1st among 1,200 adults 18 years of age and older. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.

To review the complete poll results, please visit: http://syndication.nationaljournal.com/communications/Allstate%20National%20Journal%20Heartland%20Monitor%20TOPLINE%20FINAL.pdf

Paul Fakes handles public policy-related research and development (R&D) issues for ASME.  He can be reached at fakesp@asme.org

 

 

THIRD CARBON SEQUESTRATION ATLAS PROVIDES UPDATED, ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON STORAGE POTENTIAL
According to the Department of Energy (DOE) “Carbon Sequestration Atlas” (“Atlas III”), there could be as much as 5,700 years of carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential in geologic formations in the U.S. and portions of Canada. The updated preliminary estimate, based on current emission rates, documents 1,800 billion to more than 20,000 billion metric tons of CO2 storage potential in saline formations, oil and gas reservoirs, and unmineable coal areas.

The primary purpose of “Atlas III” is to update the projected U.S./Canadian CO2 storage potential and provide updated information on the activities of DOE’s seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs), comprised of more than 400 organizations, 43 states, and four Canadian provinces. “Atlas III” also outlines DOE’s Carbon Sequestration Program and international carbon capture and storage (CCS) collaborations, as well as worldwide CCS projects and CCS regulatory issues.  In addition, it presents updated information on the location of CO2 stationary source emissions, as well as the locations and geologic storage potential of various formations and it provides details about the commercialization opportunities for CCS technologies from each RCSP.

An interactive version of “Atlas III” is available at: http://www.natcarb.org/index.html, while a printable version is available at: http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/carbon_seq/refshelf/atlasIII/

Robert Rains handles public policy-related energy issues for ASME.  He can be reached at Rainsr@asme.org

 

 

NSF REPORT SUMMARIZES KEY THEMES IN AMERICAN DOCTORAL EDUCATION
A new report recently released by the National Science Foundation (NSF), "Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2009," presents a statistical overview of the U.S. doctoral education system in snapshots and long-term trends. It notes the American system of doctoral education is widely considered the world's best, as evidenced by the large number of international students who choose to pursue a doctorate at U.S. universities.

"Given the increased global engagement and economic prosperity in developing nations, STEM graduates will have many more career options and residency choices," said Subra Suresh, director of NSF. STEM graduates are students who earned a degree in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

"The United States has long been the favorite destination to pursue graduate education and subsequent research opportunities. We could see a change in that trend," he said, making the case for revitalizing America's STEM pipeline, and the graduate school system through which students prepare to enter the high-tech workforce.”

The purpose of the new report is to provide decision makers with information that underlies informed improvements in the U.S. doctoral education system. The data contained in it serve as a measure of investment in human resources devoted to science, engineering, research, and scholarship, and as such are an indicator of the capacity for knowledge creation and innovation. They reflect political, economic, social, technological, and demographic trends.

Data for the report come from an annual census of individuals who receive doctoral degrees from research studies at accredited U.S. academic institutions. This census, the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), is a continuous examination of doctoral education ongoing since 1957. The SED is sponsored by six federal agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institutes of Health, NSF, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Education.

The summary report is available to review online at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf11306/.

Melissa Carl handles public policy-related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce issues for ASME.  She can be reached at: carlm@asme.org

 

 

FIRST SET OF BALDRIGE CRITERIA FOR 2011-2012 NOW ONLINE
The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program has announced that the 2011-2012 Criteria for Performance Excellence for businesses and nonprofit organizations are now available for download at: http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/publications/business_nonprofit_criteria.cfm. The Criteria serve both as the standard for selecting the annual recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and as the road map for organizations worldwide seeking improved strategy and operations through pursuing performance excellence.

The Baldrige Criteria work as an integrated framework for managing an organization. They are simply a set of questions focusing on seven critical aspects of management that contribute to performance excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results.

This year’s revisions to the Business/Nonprofit Criteria emphasize two themes: dealing with the increasing complexity of enterprise leadership and management; and, improving customer engagement. The Criteria now include the concept of “intelligent risk taking” and an improved “line of sight” set of linkages that should take an organization from the strategic environment to the execution of its operations in a logical sequence. The category on customer focus has been reorganized to improve the flow of logic and now addresses the use of social media as an important contributor to capturing the “voice of the customer.”

The other two editions of the 2011-2012 Criteria, for health care and education, will be available on the Baldrige website (http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/index.cfm) later this month.

Robert Rains handles public policy-related NIST issues for ASME.  He can be reached at Rainsr@asme.org

 

 

THE ARTICLES CONTAINED IN CAPITOL UPDATE ARE NOT POSITIONS OF ASME OR ANY OF ITS SUB-ENTITIES, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY NOTED AS SUCH. THIS PUBLICATION IS DESIGNED TO INFORM ASME MEMBERS ABOUT ISSUES OF CONCERN BEING DEBATED AND DISCUSSED IN THE HALLS OF CONGRESS, IN THE STATES, AND IN THE FEDERAL AGENCIES.

EDITOR: Mary James Legatski, ASME Government Relations, 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 906, Washington, DC 20036-5104.