BrightSource Energy, a darling of the federal government’s clean energy focused loan guarantees program that also scored a big investment from Google for a planned large scale solar project in California, now has another feather of sorts to notch in its cap. President Obama yesterday nominated its board chairman John Bryson to become the new Secretary of Commerce. If approved, he will replace outgoing Secretary Gary Locke.
President Obama, in prepared remarks from the State Dining Room of the White House, stated he believes Bryson to be the man for the job because, among other reasons, “he will be able to draw on decades of business experience across a range of industries -– from his role on the boards of major companies like Disney and Boeing, to his leadership in the clean energy industry.” The president feels this expertise will help the country create new jobs and “make America more competitive in the global economy.”
Bryson, previously chairman of Edison International, is quite involved in the green technology sector. Besides BrightSource, his other credentials include roles with electric vehicle start up Coda Automotive, co-chairman of the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) and a member of the U.N. Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC).
It is not expected Bryson will have an easy go of it in confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate. Republican senators, for a variety of reasons ranging from Bryson’s green background to issues around free trade agreements, plan to try and block his nomination from going through.