U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Begich (D-AK), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jon Tester (D-MT) today introduced legislation to forge a more coordinated and robust approach to meeting our nation's energy needs.
The Quadrennial Energy Review Act of 2011 authorizes a high-level government-wide working group to submit a comprehensive review of current domestic capabilities and future energy needs, as well as the resources, technologies, and policy recommendations to meet them. The first Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) would be submitted to Congress by February 1, 2014, and every 4 years thereafter. The reviews will offer a strategic roadmap to drive innovation in domestic energy sources in order to decrease our dependence on foreign oil and improve economic competitiveness and security in the United States.
The proposal is modeled after the highly-regarded Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), a legislatively-mandated review of defense strategy and priorities. According to the Department of Defense (DoD), QDRs set a long-term course for DoD as it assesses the changing threats and challenges that the nation faces. It allows DoD to re-balance its strategies, capabilities, and forces to address today's conflicts and tomorrow's threats.
"Our energy capabilities will continue to impact economic growth. That's why we need to fully assess where we are now and where we need to be in the future," Pryor said. "This review will provide us with a roadmap for developing a national energy plan, along with the jobs created through innovation and the security that domestic energy can provide to our nation."
"The Quadrennial Energy Review provides a framework for balancing our country's energy technology goals with its economic, environmental and security priorities. I'm glad to co-sponsor this bill -- the product of input from a diverse mix of public and private groups -- because it will lay out a foundation for developing a more effective and cohesive national energy policy," said Bingaman, Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee."
"Energy is critical to almost everything we do, and the federal government has implemented a wide variety of subsidies, regulations, and mandates in this area over the years. Despite this, we have fallen short in evaluating how effective our policies have been. There is no regular assessment of whether our policies can be consolidated, improved or repealed," said Murkowski, Ranking Member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "That's why it makes sense to develop a coordinated, long-term strategy to help guide and review our policymaking efforts."
"Our nation needs an energy plan, plain and simple, and this is a good step in that direction. This bill will help focus our limited dollars on the right types of technologies across a range of energy sources and efficiencies. Alaska has enormous energy potential, let's identify the best ways to go about tapping into it and get to work," said Begich.
"Leadership in energy innovation is critical to America's long-term economic competitiveness," Coons said. "Calling for a quadrennial review of our energy strategy would be an important signal that Congress stands behind a balanced, integrated assessment of our national energy policy and is committed to strengthening our path forward. It is time to put aside partisan debates and embark, as a nation, on a path that creatively and efficiently meets our energy needs. This bill will help us do that."
"A clear, long-term plan for our energy future will create jobs and lead our nation toward energy independence," Tester said. "This bill is an important step in developing that plan, and I hope the Senate passes this common-sense bill as soon as possible."
Margot Anderson, Executive Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Energy Project, added, "A QER that develops analysis-based, government-wide energy goals and fosters better coordination across Federal agencies would be of great value to investors, producers, and consumers and would help put the U.S. on the right track toward addressing our long-term energy and environmental challenges."
"The U.S. needs a national strategy to create and win the global $2.3 trillion clean energy race and grow energy sector jobs here at home. The creation of a Quadrennial Energy Review is a significant step to accomplish this. We are pleased to see such strong leadership from the Senate on this important issue," said Robert Walther, Senior Energy Advisor of the Third Way Organization.