First QER Will Focus on Transmission and Distribution Infrastructure
Today, President Obama signed a Memorandum directing his Administration to conduct a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). This first QER will focus on the development of a comprehensive strategy for the infrastructure involved in transporting, transmitting, and delivering energy. The QER will be developed through robust interagency dialogue and engagement of external stakeholders and will help to build on the Nation’s progress toward greater energy and climate security.
Building on the foundation provided in the President’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future and his Climate Action Plan, this QER will study the opportunities and challenges that our energy infrastructure faces as a result of transformations in energy supply, markets, and use; issues of aging and capacity; impacts of climate change; and cyber and physical threats. The QER will provide rigorous analysis in a focused, actionable document for policymakers across all sectors.
The development of the QER will include broad outreach, including to the private sector; state, local and tribal governments; labor and other non-governmental organizations; and the academic community. The QER will be conducted by an interagency task force that is co-chaired by the leaders of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy, and includes representation from all relevant executive departments and agencies. The Department of Energy will play a key role in providing analytical support to the QER.
As the Presidential Memorandum outlines, the QER will provide an integrated view of, and recommendations for, Federal energy policy in the context of economic, environmental, occupational, security, and health and safety priorities; review the adequacy of existing executive and legislative activities and recommend additional executive and legislative actions as appropriate; assess and recommend priorities for research, development, and demonstration programs to support key goals; and identify analytical tools and data needed to support further policy development and implementation.
Since President Obama took office, domestic oil production has increased more than 50 percent and natural gas production is now the highest it has ever been. Today, America is not just leading the world in energy production but it is also leading the world in energy innovation: Investments in research, development, and deployment have more than doubled the renewable electricity that we generate from wind and solar, even as the prices of those technologies continue to drop, and advances in energy efficiency are making our energy system cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable. All this change tests an aging infrastructure that must keep pace both with the transformations in energy supply, climate change and security. In this context, the QER will help U.S. policymakers across all sectors make decisions based on unbiased data and rigorous analysis.