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Public Statements

Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PRYOR. Mr. President, I rise today along with Senators Bingaman, Murkowski, Begich, Coons, Tester and Burr to introduce the Quadrennial Energy Review Act of 2011.

One of the big gaps in federal energy policy is the lack of an overarching vision and coordination among federal agencies to define how the United States produces and uses energy. Every president since Richard Nixon has called for America's independence from oil. We also need to make sure that our nation has a 21st century electric grid that matches supply with demand. If we want to create a more secure energy future for America then we need to develop a national energy plan that coordinates and integrates the energy policies of the various federal agencies. The development of such a policy would enhance our energy security, create jobs and mitigate environmental harm.

In the fall of 2009, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu asked the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, PCAST, to review the energy technology innovation system to identify and recommend ways to accelerate the large scale transformation of energy production, delivery, and use to a low carbon energy system. In response, PCAST formed a working group and in 2010 issued its ``Report to the President on Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy''. PCAST's most important recommendation is that the Administration establish a new process that can forge a more coordinated and robust Federal energy policy, a major piece of which is advancing energy innovation. The report recommends--

The President should establish a Quadrennial Energy Review, QER, process that will provide a multiyear roadmap that lays out an integrated view of short-, intermediate-, and long-term energy objectives; outlines legislative proposals to Congress; puts forward anticipated Executive actions coordinated across multiple agencies; and identifies resource requirements for the development and implementation of energy technologies.

Last month, the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) released a report, Catalyzing American Ingenuity (http://www.americanenergyinnovationÐ.org/2011-report/), which noted:

The nation needs a robust National Energy Plan to serve as a strategic technology and policy roadmap . . . [to] ``provide a clear, integrated road map with short-, intermediate-, and long-term objectives for federal energy policies and technology programs, along with a structured, time-bound plan to get there. We support DOE's Quadrennial Technology Review, QTR, which we see as an important and meaningful first step toward developing a national energy strategy. The federal government should build on the QTR and move quickly toward a government-wide QER.

AEIC is a group of prominent business leaders who came together last year to call for a more vigorous public and private sector commitment to energy technology innovation. AEIC members include: Norm Augustine, former chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin; Ursula Burns, chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox; John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Bill Gates, chairman and former chief executive officer of Microsoft; Charles O. Holliday, chairman of Bank of America and former chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont; Jeff Immelt, chairman and chief executive officer of GE; and Tim Solso, chairman and chief executive officer of Cummins Inc.

A Quadrennial Energy Review could establish government-wide energy goals, coordinate actions across agencies, and lead to the development of a national energy policy.

As the lead agency in support of energy science and technology innovation, the Department of Energy has taken the first step to developing a national energy plan by conducting a Quadrennial Technology Review of the energy technology policies and programs of the Department. The QTR serves as the basis for DOE's coordination with other agencies and on other programs for which the Department has a key role.

The next step is to build upon DOE's report and perform a Quadrennial Energy Review that would establish government-wide energy objectives, coordinate actions across Federal agencies, and provide a strong analytical base for Federal energy policy decisions.

Our bill, the Quadrennial Energy Review Act of 2011, would authorize the President to establish an Interagency Working Group to submit a Quadrennial Energy Review to Congress by February 1, 2014, and every 4 years thereafter. The Group would be co-chaired by the Secretary of Energy and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, OSTP, and consist of level I or II Executive Schedule members representing the Departments of Commerce, Defense, State, Interior, Agriculture, Treasury, and Transportation, Office of Management and Budget, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and other Federal organizations, departments and agencies that the President considers to be appropriate.

The bill lists what information, at a minimum, shall be reported in the Quadrennial Energy Review and requires the Secretary of Energy to provide the Executive Secretariat and for agency heads to cooperate with the Secretary.

We live in a global world with global demands on energy. The country that best manages its energy resources will lead the 21st century and provide its people a secure energy future. The U.S. needs to win the energy race and this bill will help the United States remain that country.

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