This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

Keeping America’s Energy System on the Cutting Edge

The Obama administration releases the initial installment of the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), a four-year cycle of moving-spotlight assessments that will provide a roadmap for U.S. energy policy going forward.

Today, America has the most advanced energy system in the world. A steady supply of reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean power and fuels underpins every facet of our nation’s economy. But the U.S. energy landscape is changing dramatically, with important implications for the vast networks of pipelines, wires, waterways, railroads, storage systems, and other facilities that form the backbone of America’s energy system.

That’s why today, the Obama administration released the initial installment of the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), a four-year cycle of moving-spotlight assessments that will provide a roadmap for U.S. energy policy going forward.

The first installment of the QER focuses on needs and opportunities for modernizing the nation’s energy transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D) infrastructure — including the range of vulnerabilities and challenges to posed by climate change, the evolving energy mix, aging components and systems, workforce needs, and more. The report proposes specific recommendations and investments to replace, expand, and modernize infrastructure where needed, with the goal of ensuring continued economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility.

In remarks today in Philadelphia to announce the release, the Vice President said, “We need a 21st century energy infrastructure — and this report offers a roadmap on how to do that.”

The QER installment released today focuses on key topics such as:

  • Ensuring the resilience, reliability, safety, and security of TS&D infrastructure
  • Modernizing the electric grid
  • Modernizing infrastructure systems that are crucial to U.S. and world energy security
  • Improving transportation infrastructures — such as rail and waterway systems — that are now challenged by increasing use to move energy commodities

This first QER report also considers a number of cross-cutting topics, such as environmental aspects of TS&D infrastructure, employment and workforce training, and siting and permitting issues.

Addressing the opportunities and challenges associated with America’s energy infrastructure will require investment and action from both the public and private sectors. And the context for these investments will remain dynamic over time. For instance, acting to curb global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions is already driving changes in the mix of energy that is supplied and used, affecting the demands placed on TS&D infrastructure. That trend is destined to continue.

The Obama administration is committed to taking responsible steps to modernize our energy infrastructure, create a clean energy economy that is built to last, combat climate change, and maximize the use of the nation’s domestic energy resources.

In addition to today’s initial QER release, the Vice President announced two executive actions to ensure the strength of our energy system is sustained over the long run. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is committing $72 million to support six new rural electric-infrastructure projects, including major investments to drive solar energy, and the Department of Energy is launching a new Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience that will improve U.S. energy infrastructure resilience against extreme weather and climate change impacts through collaborations with leading electricity service providers.

Together, today’s announcements mark an important new thrust toward keep America’s energy system on the cutting edge.