On April 11, the Department of Energy will hold the first of a series of public meetings to discuss and receive comments on issues related to the Administration's Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The QER was established earlier this year by President Obama to develop "a comprehensive and integrated energy strategy resulting from interagency dialogue and active engagement of external stakeholders." The first phase of the QER, to be completed by January 31, 2015, will focus on the nation's infrastructure for transporting, transmitting, and delivering energy.
Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has been a longtime advocate of the QER. He was a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) that originally recommended the QER as a way to integrate and provide a strong analytical base for federal energy policy, outline energy-related legislative proposals to Congress, put forward anticipated Executive branch regulatory, programmatic and fiscal actions coordinated across multiple agencies, and identify resource requirements for research and development and innovation incentive programs.
The Administration's QER Task Force is co-chaired by the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council. DOE is taking the lead in coordinating interagency work on the QER and in conducting a robust process for stakeholder engagement. DOE will also provide key policy analysis and modeling related to the QER report.
This first public meeting will be on "Enhancing Resilience in Energy Infrastructure and Addressing Vulnerabilities" and it will be held in the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. Secretary Moniz and OSTP Director John Holdren will speak, and panels of experts will discuss specific types of infrastructure vulnerabilities and potential solutions.
Among the questions to be considered will be whether there are specific policies or policy gaps that create vulnerabilities, how much and what type of investment in energy infrastructure is needed to ensure the safe delivery of electricity, natural gas, oil and liquid fuels, how to strengthen industry/government partnerships around cybersecurity issues, what financial or other incentives would encourage investment in resilience and security measures, and how climate change is affecting particular parts of our energy infrastructure. There will be time set aside for members of the public to speak, and DOE will accept written comments for up to 60 days after the meeting.
DOE has outlined plans for at least six more public meetings in different regions of the country in the coming months, with some specific dates and locations to be determined. It will hold meetings on "Infrastructure Constraints - New England" in Hartford, Connecticut and Providence, Rhode Island on April 21, "Infrastructure Constraints - Bakken" in North Dakota, "Electricity Transmission Storage & Distribution -- West" in Portland, Oregon, "Petroleum Product Transmission & Distribution (including CO2/EOR)" in Louisiana, and "Rail, Barge, Truck Transportation" in Chicago.
The QER will help create a roadmap for our nation's energy future. Energy industry stakeholders have a vital interest in its development and its outcomes.