Obama administration sets agenda to modernize energy infrastructure

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2015 10:29 AM

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Tuesday announced plans to modernize the country's aging energy infrastructure and make it more resilient to challenges ranging from extreme weather to changing domestic energy production.

The Quadrennial Energy Review, more than a year in the making, recommends a program that would accelerate natural gas pipeline replacement, modernize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and award up to $350 million to help states improve the reliability of their electricity delivery.

The report, which is the administration's first attempt to analyze the country's energy systems, highlights several opportunities to overhaul and invest in U.S. energy transmission, storage and distribution networks and offers policy recommendations for lawmakers and officials.

The massive expansion of domestic oil and gas production, and the ensuing congestion on rails and waterways to transport these fuels, and the rapid boom in renewable energy have major energy policy implications, as does the vulnerability of the electrical grid to extreme weather and cyber attacks, the report said.

Addressing these issues "will require action by many parties in the private sector, and coordinated public sector action at the federal, state, and local levels," the White House said in a fact sheet.

President Barack Obama called for the launch of the QER when he announced his Climate Action Plan in June 2013.

Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will discuss the findings of the QER at electric utility PECO in Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon.

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Susan Heavey, Lisa Von Ahn and Andrea Ricci)