On January 9, 2014, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum directing the heads of executive departments and agencies to form the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force (“Task Force”) to develop an integrated report every four years addressing energy challenges in the United States.  President Obama hopes that the Task Force will help form a comprehensive, coordinated strategy to ensure affordable, clean, and secure energy and energy services to improve productivity, quality of life, environmental protection, and security.

The Task Force’s initial focus will be infrastructure for transporting, transmitting, and delivering energy.  As such, the first Quadrennial Energy Review (“QER”) will address the challenges of transformations in energy markets, issues of aging and capacity, impacts of climate change, and cyber and physical threats.  Specifically, the QER must:

  • review Federal energy policy in the context of economic, environmental, occupational, security, and health and safety concerns, especially with regard to energy infrastructures;
  • review the adequacy of existing executive and legislative actions;
  • assess and recommend priorities for research and development to achieve energy innovation goals; and
  • identify analytical tools and data to support policy development and implementation.

According to the Presidential Memorandum, the 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, will include members from all relevant executive departments and agencies.  In addition, the Task Force will gather advice from businesses, state and local governments, academics, and other stakeholders in order to develop and implement effective energy policies.  The Task Force may also invite independent regulatory agencies with energy-related responsibilities – such as FERC – to participate as well. 

The first QER is due by January 31, 2015.  A copy of the announcement is available here.