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Once a critic, Trump official praises solar farm for "improving"

Ivanpah solar farm in Nevada. Photo: John Locher / AP

The Energy Department's top renewable energy official on Tuesday praised a massive solar farm in California for "improving" after he criticized it while testifying to Congress last year as a conservative expert.

Daniel Simmons, the acting head of the department's renewable and energy efficiency office, toured the facility, named Ivanpah, on Sunday before giving remarks to a solar industry conference underway this week in Las Vegas.

Why it matters: Simmons' comments show the subtle ways some conservative experts known for blasting then-President Obama's policies are moderating their rhetoric as they join the federal bureaucracy that created those policies.