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Today, the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force, co-chaired by the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy and using the analytical support of a Secretariat at the Department of Energy, marks the one-year anniversary of the first installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The QER is a focused, actionable document designed to provide unbiased data and analysis on the Nation’s energy challenges and needs. Following President Obama’s direction from a January 2014 Presidential Memorandum, the QER Task Force developed the QER to examine ways to modernize our Nation’s energy infrastructure to promote economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility.
The first installment of the QER, publicly released by Vice President Biden on April 21, 2015, focused on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D). By examining the networks of pipelines, wires, storage, waterways, railroads, and other facilities that form the backbone of our energy system, the QER proposed 63 policy recommendations, designed to inform and address the most pressing issues facing energy TS&D through a range of policy options. Since the release, the QER has done just that.
In the past year, the response from lawmakers, industry, and other stakeholders has been overwhelmingly positive. More than 60 publications mentioned the QER, 16 state and national energy organizations provided public statements of support, and many recommendations received bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. 14 of the QER's recommendations have helped inform Federal laws, including the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act & the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015. Other recommendations reflected in law include those that address emergency preparedness procedures for energy supply disruptions; increasing the safe transport of crude oil by rail; developing a national multimodal freight policy; and analyzing emissions from natural gas infrastructure. One of the greatest legislative accomplishments, however, was receiving authorization to raise $2 billion in funding to modernize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The domestic success of the QER also led to international interest and support. To date, the findings and recommendations of the first installment have been briefed to representatives from over 30 countries, the European Union, and the European Commission. The Administration is also actively engaged in the implementation of the QER’s recommendations. The Department of Energy and its interagency partners are undertaking numerous initiatives from the QER, including the creation of uniform methods to monitor energy efficiency; modernizing and protecting the electric grid; working with Mexico and Canada to increase North American energy security; and enabling Veterans and other members in the U.S. workforce to pursue jobs in the energy sector.
While the first installment of the QER has created a lasting impact on energy policy in the United States, the work is not done. The Department of Energy will continue to track the progress of each recommendation and plans to release a QER Implementation Report Card in the coming weeks to determine what additional actions are required for full implementation to occur.
Our work also continues through the development of the second installment of the QER. The report, which will conduct a comprehensive review of the Nation’s electricity system, capitalizes on the analysis completed in the first installment that underscored the importance of electricity to the Nation’s energy system. Numerous components and sectors of our infrastructure depend upon electricity to function, and the intersection of electricity with energy security, economic competitiveness, and environmental responsibility merits a closer examination. More information about the second installment is available here.