The infrastructure debate in Washington usually centers on planes, trains, and automobiles. However, President Obama recently highlighted America’s other great infrastructure challenge — modernizing the way we move kilowatts to power our homes and businesses — by unveiling the first Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, the QER is a strategic plan for upgrading the nation’s energy systems — the vast network of storage, distribution, and transmission facilities that power the U.S. economy. Based on similar exercises at the Pentagon and the State Department, the QER provides a new roadmap for policymakers struggling to understand America’s fast-changing energy landscape.
The last comprehensive national energy report was published nearly 14 years ago — well before two key developments that have transformed America’s energy landscape: the shale gas and oil boom and the rapid expansion of wind and solar energy. While the QER is not a comprehensive document, it does examine, and calls for measures to improve, America’s energy backbone.
With the QER, Congress has an opportunity to move beyond the distracting and highly partisan Keystone XL pipeline debate and focus instead on urgently needed improvements to America’s aging energy systems.
Continue reading at RealClearPolicy.