Secretary Salazar to Announce Offshore Wind Developments, House Energy Members Raise Big Money, Tony Clark New FERC Commissioner

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is holding a news conference in Baltimore to roll out the next steps in the department’s efforts to spur construction of offshore wind farms along the Atlantic Coast.  The department isn’t saying much, other than promising a “major” step towards development off the coasts of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware.  The energy news service Platts reported that Interior will announce that an environmental study shows that wind development off the mid-Atlantic coast will have “no significant impact” on the environment.  Officials will announce completion of an assessment of plans by Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to begin issuing offshore wind leases later this year, Platts reported.

FEC Fourth Quarter fundraising reports show that Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have raised substantial sums.  Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) was the fourth quarter's fundraising champ among members hoping to be reelected this year, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The Environment and Economy Subcommittee chairman raised a total of $368,218 with help from donors including BP, Koch Industries and Ohio-based coal company Murray Energy Corp., which.  Other members rounding out the E&C top five were: Lois Capps (D-Calif.), who raised $321,144 in the quarter; Greg Walden (R-Ore.), with $308,419; David McKinley (R-W.Va.), $294,998; and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), $289,408. Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) ranked seventh, with $280,305.

Tony Clark, of North Dakota, who recently completed a one-year term as President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, has been nominated by the President to serve as a Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  Clark would take the position vacated by Marc Spitzer last year.  The President also nominated Adam Sieminski, the current chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank, to serve as Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA).  This position is currently being filled by Howard Gruenspect as Acting Administrator.