John Kerry Speaks At SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit

Iran’s atomic energy chief and US energy secretary joined talks in Geneva on Saturday for first time, joining seven other nations in a move that may help resolve technical disputes standing, with hopes to curb Tehran’s atomic activities in exchange for sanctions relief. “Technical experts for Iran and the six nations it is negotiating with have been meeting alongside senior political officials. But Saturday was the first time that Iranian Atomic Energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz also joined in.

Western officials say the US decided to send Moniz only after Iran announced that Salehi will be coming. Still, their presence could improve chances of a deal by fast-tracking complex technical details of constraints on Iran’s nuclear programs that are acceptable to Tehran.” [The Guardian]

Federal criminal charges have been filed against Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electric utility, with the company accused of violating the federal Clean Water Act by illegally dumping millions of gallons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River in North Carolina. “They also accused the company of failing to maintain equipment around at least two plants.

The misdemeanor charges are the result of an investigation that began about a year ago and quickly became a major political scandal in a state whose governor, Pat McCrory, has longstanding ties to the Charlotte-based energy giant.

The charges were announced Friday shortly before 5 p.m. by the United States attorney’s offices for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina, along with the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section.” [NY Times]

Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest defense contractor, is increasingly using its expertise in developing and building jet fighters, warships and satellites to help utilities and industrial customers protect against cyber-attacks. “”Energy is certainly an area of growth for us,” Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson told reporters at the corporation’s media day outside Washington. “In a relative sense, it’s not a large business for us, but it’s a growing business for us. So, we’ll continue to invest in that area.”

Lockheed Martin’s not alone among defense contractors looking to energy for a boost in earnings. Boeing (BA), for example, also provides expertise in electric-grid management and cyber-security, and conducts research in energy storage, as well. But Lockheed Martin has been among the most active lately.” [USA Today]