The current President and CEO of Centrus Energy is Daniel Poneman. He has had a varied career that has allowed him to voice views that both parties can stand. His views on climate change puts him more on the side of the Democrats, but he seems to be a well connected centrist. The main complaint people have about him is that he is a former Deputy Secretary of Energy that led the Department for about a month. The conservative side of politics would say this is part of the deep state, especially with the murky past of Centrus Energy.
Daniel Poneman was born in Toledo, Ohio. He went to Harvard and Oxford. He started out as a lawyer. He has been a member of two law firms. His first government job was that of a White House Fellow at the Department of Energy for a year. He then moved to the White House as part of the National Security Council. He was the Director of Defense Policy and Arms Control. He was then a Special Assistant to President Clinton and Senior Director for Nonproliferation and Export Controls at the NSC. After that, he went to the Snowcroft Group, a business advisory group started by Brent Snowcroft, who worked for the first President Bush and President Ford. He then went to the Department of Energy as the Deputy Secretary under President Obama.
Poneman is a very busy man. In the academic realm, he is a senior fellow at the Harvard Belfer Center. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a director for Venture Global LNG and a director at Traxys S.A. right now, along with his position at Centrus. He has positioned himself to be able to make full use of his connections within the energy industry. He writes and speaks on many of the issues surrounding energy, climate change, nuclear proliferation, and a few other topics.
Centrus and influence
Centrus, even though it is supposed to be fueling civilian nuclear reactors, is still needing the government. Centrus claims that Poneman is not lobbying for the company, but all he has to do is say something in the right ear without any record happening. There are other choices, though woefully falling short, in the nation being independent in supplying enriched uranium for power plants. Just having Poneman at Centrus means that employees at the Department of Energy will remember that.
One recent issue that has come up is the awarding of a $115 million no bid contract for development of an advanced nuclear enrichment site in Ohio. Current Secretary of Energy Rick Perry is getting blasted by Republicans for this happening, but the awarding of the contract had to go through several review processes through the entire Department. One Republican Senator questioned whether the money that is getting paid to Centrus will end up with the Russian government owned company Tenex, which Centrus buys enriched uranium from since they cannot enrich themselves.
Special consideration has been paid to Centrus, even when it was USEC. The company needs people like Poneman to keep that consideration.
The next article will be on the program that basically stopped the uranium industry in the U.S.
- Centrus Part 5: The dirty shutdown of the Paducah plant
- Centrus Part 4: The massive clean up in Paducah
- Centrus Part 3: The lawsuits for Paducah enrichment site
- Centrus Part 2: The Paducah, Kentucky enrichment site history
- Centrus, Part 1: The private company costing you billions, affecting national security
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