Chu Restores Top Energy Advisory Panel

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced the 12 members of his newly reconstituted Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) (link was dead at time of publication; hopefully it will be up later). The list, pasted after the break, is a who's who of the center-left energy gang; from venture capitalists to a former CEO of Dupont (among the more progressive firms on climate) to Ralph Cicerone, head of the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2004, I wrote about how George W. Bush's second energy secretary, Samuel Bodman, got rid of SEAB—known as "See-Ab"—opting instead for guidance from his employees:

In January, Bodman dismissed the top science advisory board at DOE—6 months after it released a report critical of DOE's management of its weapons complex. Senator Carl Levin (D–MI) called the move "troubling," and longtime DOE adviser and physicist Richard Garwin sees it as "a very bad idea." Peter McPherson, chair of the now-shuttered group and president of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, is less concerned. Bodman, he says, "can get input from other sources." And Bodman says he prefers to receive advice from those "on the payroll."

Chu is much more hands-on than Bodman, a former executive from the chemical industry. ScienceInsider has requested an interview with the Department of Energy (DOE) to find out how Chu plans to use the group.

Here's the full release from DOE:


Office of Public Affairs


News Media Contact: For Immediate Release:

(202) 586-4940 Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DOE Announces Secretary of Energy Advisory Board

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the members of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). Eliminated during the last administration, SEAB is being reestablished under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The twelve member board comprised of scientists, business executives, academics and former government officials will serve as an independent advisory committee to Secretary Chu.

"I am honored that this talented group of individuals has agreed to offer their service to the Department and to the Nation," said Secretary Chu. "They will be providing their expertise and experience at a critical time for our country as we chart a new course toward a clean energy future."

The Board will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary on the Department's basic and applied research, economic and national security policy, educational issues, operational issues and other activities as directed by the Secretary.

SEAB reports directly to the Secretary of Energy. It was chartered in 1990 to provide the Secretary with timely, balanced, external advice on issues concerning the Department. The board is expected to meet twice a year and at other times as needed. Subcommittees are also expected to be organized under SEAB.

Below is the list of SEAB Members:

Norman Augustine Former Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin, Former Under Secretary for the Army

Ralph Cicerone President of National Academy of Sciences

John Deutch MIT Chemist, Former Under Secretary of Energy

Nicholas Donofrio Former EVP of Innovation and Technology, IBM

Alexis Herman Former Secretary of Labor

Chad Holliday, Jr. Former CEO of Dupont

Michael McQuade Senior VP, United Technologies Corporation

William Perry Former Secretary of Defense, Stanford University Professor

Arthur Rosenfeld Former Commissioner, California Energy Commission

Susan Tierney Managing Principle, Analysis Group

Steven Westly Managing Partner, Westly Group

Daniel Yergin President, Cambridge Energy Research Associates