About the Quadrennial Energy Review
On January 9, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the administration to conduct a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). Informed by the June 2013 President’s “Climate Action Plan” and in response to a 2011 recommendation by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the administration-wide QER enables the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of analytically based, integrated actions--executive actions, legislative proposals, and budget and resource requirements for proposed investments--over a four-year planning horizon. The White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy jointly chair an interagency QER Task Force, while the Secretary of Energy provides support to the QER Task Force, including coordination of activities related to the preparation of the QER report, policy analysis and modeling, and stakeholder engagement.
The Task Force is directed to deliver a report to the President that includes the following:
- Provides an integrated view of, and recommendations for, Federal energy policy in the context of economic, environmental, occupational, security, and health and safety priorities, with attention in the first report given to the challenges facing the Nation’s energy infrastructures.
- Reviews the adequacy of existing executive and legislative actions and recommends additional executive and legislative actions, as appropriate.
- Assesses and recommends priorities for research, development, and demonstration programs to support key energy innovation goals.
- Identifies analytical tools and data needed to support further policy development and implementation.
Unlike other federal quadrennial review processes where an analysis is done every four years, the QER is being conducted through installments to allow for granular analysis of key energy sub-sectors. The fourth installment is intended to be a synthesis of the previous three; this structure will provide policy makers both deep and broad policy analysis of the complex and inter-dependent elements that comprise the Nation’s energy system.
On April 21, 2015, the QER Task Force released the first installment of the QER entitled, “Energy Transmission, Storage, and Distribution Infrastructure”, which examined the Nation's infrastructure for transmission, storage, and distribution, including liquid and natural gas pipelines, the grid, and shared transport such as rail, waterways, and ports. Given the critical enabling role of electricity articulated in the first installment, the Administration has determined that the second installment of the QER will develop a set of findings and policy recommendations to help guide the modernization of the nation’s electric grid and ensure its continued reliability, safety, security, affordability, and environmental performance through 2040.
As directed by the President, the QER is envisioned as a focused, actionable document designed to provide policymakers, industry, investors, and other stakeholders with unbiased data and analysis on energy challenges, needs, requirements, and barriers that will inform a range of policy options, including legislation.