Former DOE Deputy Secretary Signs on as CEO of Company the DOE Helped Keep Afloat Amidst Bankruptcy

Published: Mar 31, 2015

WASHINGTON— This week, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (UT-03) and Interior Subcommittee Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY- At large) issued letters to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz and Centrus Energy Senior Vice President and General Counsel Peter Saba outlining concerns regarding former DOE Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman’s new position as President and Chief Executive Officer of Centrus Energy.

While serving at the DOE as Deputy Secretary from May 2009 to October 2014, Mr. Poneman “was substantially involved in business arrangements between DOE and Centrus Energy.” The letters further state that “Mr. Poneman’s work relating to Centrus Energy and its predecessor in interest, the United States Enrichment Corporation, raises questions about whether he complied with ethics guidelines and federal conflict of interest laws that cover government employees who are seeking private employment.”

“Centrus Energy is a company that has been awarded billions of taxpayer resources by the Department of Energy (DOE) prior to the company’s recent stint in bankruptcy. I find it very troubling to see that someone so close to the top of the DOE involved in distributing these resources has found his way to that same company. As Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior, I will investigate the DOE and Centrus’ activities leading up to now former Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman’s hiring as CEO of Centrus,” said Chairman Lummis.

Excerpts from the letter:

“It is our understanding that, during his tenure at DOE, Mr. Poneman was involved in a number of decisions related to the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC). A former government corporation created for the purpose of privatizing uranium enrichment, USEC was privatized in the 1990s.[1] USEC struggled financially before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 5, 2013.[2] On September 30, 2014, USEC emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings as Centrus Energy.”

“During the course of Mr. Poneman’s tenure at the Department of Energy, USEC received financial assistance from the Department.”

Letter to Secretary Moniz here.
Letter to Mr. Saba here.