American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program SPECIAL UPDATE


AGENCY ACTION ALERT

DOE Holds Hearings, Seeks Comments on Energy Strategy

Posted: February 5, 1998; Action Completed 2-28-98


AGI's Government Affairs Program (GAP) seeks to keep the AGI member societies informed of its activities and related events in Washington through monthly updates and occasional special updates. Monthly updates go out to members of the AGI Government A ffairs Program (GAP) Advisory Committee as well as the leadership of AGI's member societies and other interested geoscientists. Prior updates can be found under "Government Affairs" on AGI's homepage.
Note: In response to the Department of Energy's call for input described in this update, AGI Executive Director Marcus Milling provided oral and written testimony before Energy Secretary Federico Pena on Febr uary 19th at a hearing in Washington, DC.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is holding a series of hearings this month to solicit input in the development of a draft national energy policy plan known as the "Comprehensive National Energy Strategy." The hearings will be held in Houston TX on February 12th, Davis CA on February 13th; and Washington DC on February 19th (additional information below). These hearings are an opportunity for geoscientists in those areas to communicate their views to DOE leadership. AGI encourages its member societies with an interest in energy issues to consider participating in these forums. We apologize for the short time-frame, but DOE only provided the information this week.

The draft plan is available on the web and can also be obtained by faxing a request to DOE at 202-737-0219 or by contacting the AGI Government Affairs Program.

For those who are not in any of the hearing locations, please consider sending written comments to DOE by fax at 202-737-0219, via the web, or by mail to:

U.S. Department of Energy
Attn: CNES Hearings
1000 Independence Avenue SW, Room 7C-016
Washington, DC 20585

Written comments must be submitted no later than February 27, 1998.


HEARING SCHEDULE

February 12, 1998. 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Houston, Texas

George Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida de las Americas
Parking available on site.

Hearing Chair -- Elizabeth Moler, Deputy Secretary of Energy

February 13, 1998. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Davis, California

University of California at Davis
Club Room I
Parking available on site.

Hearing Chair -- Ernest Moniz, Under Secretary of Energy

February 19, 1998. 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Washington DC

U.S. Department of Energy -- Main Auditorium
1000 Independence Avenue SW

Hearing Chair -- Federico Pena, Secretary of Energy

At each hearing, DOE will offer an overview of the draft plan, then meeting participants will have an opportunity to comment. A registry for participants wishing to speak will open half an hour before the hearing.


Questions To Address

The hearing notice puts forward three questions for discussion at the hearings:

"What are the principal roles of government in addressing energy production and use? What activities should the government be pursuing?"

"How can the U.S. ensure that the economic and environmental benefits of energy policies are shared equitably (e.g., among different regions, between low vs. high income and large vs. small consumers)?"

"What important, energy-related issues are unlikely to be addressed by competitive markets? How should the government interact or coordinate with the private sector on energy issues both here and abroad?"

Feedback is also requested on the five basic goals of the "Comprehensive National Energy Strategy":

Goal I.
Improve the efficiency of the energy system - making more productive use of energy resources to enhance overall economic performance while protecting the environment and advancing national security.

Goal II.
Ensure against energy disruptions - protecting our economy from external threat of interrupted supplies or infrastructure failure.

Goal III.
Promote energy production and use in ways that reflect human health and environmental values - improving our health and local, regional, and global environmental quality.

Goal IV.
Expand future energy choices - pursuing continued progress in science and technology to provide future generations with a robust portfolio of clean and inexpensive energy sources.

Goal V.
Cooperate internationally on global issues - developing the means to address global economic, security, and environmental concerns.


Contributed by David Applegate, AGI Government Affairs Program

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.

Posted February 5, 1998; Last updated March 3, 1998


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