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Information released from January 20, 2009 to present.
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Secretary Gutierrez and Secretary Evans Commend Performance, Commitment, of Commerce Personnel in Final Farewell
Washington (Jan. 16)—Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez was joined by former Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans today in recognizing the accomplishments of the Department over the past eight years, including moving the U.S. trade agenda forward. In closing remarks thanking President Bush for the opportunity to serve and the men and women working at the Commerce Department for their support and dedication, Gutierrez said, “This is the best job I have ever had.”
Gutierrez Urges Congress to Pass Legislation to Enable NTIA to Accelerate Distribution of DTV Coupons
Washington (Jan. 15)—U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez sent the following letter to Chairmen John D. Rockefeller and Henry A. Waxman to urge Congress to immediately pass legislation to enable Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to accelerate the distribution of TV converter box coupons to American households. (More) (Letters to Chairman Waxman and Chairman Rockefeller)
New NIST Method Accelerates Stability Testing of Soy-Based Biofuel
Gaithersburg, Md. (Jan. 15)—The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a method to accelerate stability testing of biodiesel fuel made from soybeans and also identified additives that enhance stability at high temperatures. The results, described in a new paper, could help overcome a key barrier to practical use of biofuels. Both oxidation and heating can cause biodiesel to break down, adversely affecting performance. NIST’s “advanced distillation curve” method could accelerate and simplify testing of biodiesels, according to lead author Tom Bruno. (More)
NOAA Reports Decline in Northern Fur Seal Pup Estimates
Washington (Jan. 15)—Researchers at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory of NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center have marked another decline in northern fur seal pup births in the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, where most of the world’s population of northern fur seals gather in the summer to rest and breed. “We started seeing an over-all decline in the abundance of fur seals on the Pribilof Islands around 1998, but we have not been able to identify the factors responsible,” said Dr. Doug DeMaster, center director. (More)
Gutierrez Expresses Continued Support for Free Trade
Washington (Jan. 13)—U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez issued the following statement on the release of the November 2008 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report shows that U.S. exports increased by 14.1 percent to $1.7 trillion year-to-date (through November) over 2007.Imports also increased 9.3 percent to $2.3 trillion and the trade deficit narrowed 1.8 percent during the same time period. (More) (Fact Sheet)
NOAA Gives Navy Marine Mammal Protection Measures for Sonar Training off Hawaii
Washington (Jan. 12)—The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service has issued regulations and a letter of authorization to the U.S. Navy to impact marine mammals while conducting training exercises around the main Hawaiian Islands. The Navy requested authorization under the Marine Mammal Protection Act because the mid-frequency sound generated by tactical active sonar, and the sound and pressure generated by detonating explosives, may affect the behavior of some marine mammals or cause a temporary loss of their hearing. (More)
Census Bureau Opens Local Office in St. Louis
St. Louis, Mo. (Jan. 10)—U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay joined Census Bureau officials in officially opening the local census office in St. Louis. This office will employ about 1,000 during peak operations for the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau is expected to open about 500 local census offices across the country and hire approximately 1.4 million people for the 2010 Census. (More)
Statement by Secretary Gutierrez on December’s Employment Report
Washington (Jan. 9)—U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez released the following statement on the December Employment Report, which showed that the unemployment rate is 7.2 percent: “This is a very challenging time for our economy. Today’s report shows that unfortunately more Americans are out of work. We do not like to see a single citizen lose his or her job, so today’s news is extremely disappointing. Our nation is going through a trying period, but just as we have weathered challenges in the past—from the recession to the attacks of September 11th to corporate scandals to devastating natural disasters—our country will make it through this difficult time as well.” (More)
Gutierrez: Environmental Stewardship is Critical to the Economy and Safety and Well-Being of the American People
Silver Spring, Md. (Jan. 8)—Speaking to Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez noted recent advances in environmental research, conservation and prediction. “Over the past eight years, the Bush Administration, the Commerce Department and NOAA have been aggressively working to increase our scientific knowledge and preserve the precious legacy of healthy oceans and sustainable marine resources,” Gutierrez said. (Remarks) (Fact Sheet) (Video)
Commerce Secretary Invites Applications for Disaster Assistance to States Impacted by 2008 Storms
Washington (Jan. 8)—In response to hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters occurring during 2008, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez today announced that the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications to support long-term post-disaster economic recovery through an additional $400 million in emergency funding provided through a Second Supplemental under the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, signed into law on September 30, 2008. (More)