Visit windpowermonthlyevents.com for the latest on our upcoming conferences and webcasts

United States

United States

Unknown quantity in energy

Former Transportation Secretary Federico Peña has been nominated as Energy Secretary. Peña, 49, was also formerly Mayor of Denver and a Democratic Congressman for Colorado. He is not an energy expert, but his backers expected him to be an able manager and leader who will promote US technology effectively.

In a surprise move, former Transportation Secretary Federico Peña has been nominated to replace Hazel O'Leary as Energy Secretary. Peña, 49, was also formerly Mayor of Denver and a Democratic Congressman for Colorado. He is not an energy expert, but his backers expected him to be an able manager and leader who will promote US technology effectively.

President Bill Clinton, inaugurated for his second and final term on January 21, introduced Peña at a press conference on December 22 as "an experienced leader and manager who understands the demands of a large government agency, who will demand peak performance from government contractors, who knows why we have to reinvent government and how to do it."

Clinton also stressed that a key mission for the Department of Energy will be to promote energy efficiency and environmental technology and said Secretary Peña "will work with the energy industry to create economic opportunity by using energy in a way that does not hurt our environment."

Peña has limited knowledge of energy. But as Transportation Secretary for the four years of Clinton's first term he is said to have been successful in increasing the global competitiveness of the US transportation industry, improving the safety of travel, streamlining the Department of Transportation -- by axing 11,000 jobs -- while investing more in America's infrastructure than any predecessor. He also helped encourage private financing in highway construction.

The Sustainable Energy Coalition (SEC), which includes the American Wind Energy Association, welcomed the nomination, which must be approved by the US Congress. In a typically diplomatic statement, the SEC in a press release noted Peña had demonstrated his ability to work with the environmental and sustainable energy communities. He has been an advocate too for the use of renewable fuels in transportation.

When Clinton was re-elected in early November, it was clear that O'Leary would not survive as Energy Secretary. The former utility executive had faced strong criticism for the cost of her trade missions abroad during her term of office.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Windpower Monthly Events

Latest Jobs