Moniz vows to elevate role of states, localities to inform agency priorities

Katherine Ling, E&E reporter

Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Energy Department will step up its focus on state and local needs to support a transition to a low-carbon economy, especially in developing the Quadrennial Energy Review, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said yesterday during a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing.

"We are going to be developing the Quadrennial Review process with a much more regional, local focus," Moniz said.

The national labs' numerous and diverse locations in the United States can act as "regional centers" to provide better insight for local issues and will be a key part of boosting the DOE-local relationships, especially for the four-year review process, Moniz said. The secretary has made the Quadrennial Energy Review, a plan to prioritize and coordinate efforts across various DOE offices and between the department and other agencies, a key focus early in his tenure (Greenwire, April 16).

Moniz added that overall one of his goals "is to significantly upgrade our interactions with states and localities." Different areas of the country have different energy issues, so "we need to do more recognition of that so we can work with regions and develop appropriate approaches for a future low-carbon economy," he said.

Incorporating the labs and state and local interests earlier in the strategic process should also create a better "technology ecosystem" to help "draw out" important discoveries made at the labs, Moniz said.

"When it comes to technology transfer from the laboratories, it is not at a level we should expect. I believe we should do more," he said.