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Focus on Regulation

Quadrennial energy review will shape domestic energy future

President Obama this month initiated an annual “Quadrennial Energy Review,” directing his Administration to create a four-year, cross-agency plan for the nation’s energy transportation, transmission, and delivery infrastructure. The QER, developed with input from a broad range of federal agencies, will set federal energy infrastructure priorities well beyond the Obama presidency.

The Presidential Memorandum Establishing a Quadrennial Energy Review establishes an interagency Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force, which will be co-chaired by the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, with input from more than a dozen agencies ranging from the Department of Energy and Department of the Interior to the National Economic Council and Department of Health and Human Services.

The Task Force is directed to submit its first Report to the President by January 31, 2015, and every four years thereafter to future presidents. It is intended to help direct agencies to set energy priorities, including budget priorities, which are reflective of the QER.

The initial report is expected to focus on the nation’s aging energy infrastructure, including pipeline systems and electricity transmission, among other infrastructure components. With the QER serving as the roadmap for federal agency budgets for the subsequent four years after the Report is published, companies and organizations are actively engaging with policymakers to ensure that policies in the Report are reflective of their business models.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has made the QER a cornerstone of his stewardship of the Department of Energy. Even before the Presidential directive was issued, key Department of Energy staff had begun internal efforts to shape the QER.