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Quadrennial Energy Review; Notice of Public Meeting

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AGENCY:

Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, Secretariat, Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Notice of public meeting.

SUMMARY:

At the direction of the President, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or Department), as the Secretariat for the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force (QER Task Force), will convene a public meeting to introduce the topic of the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review, an integrated study of the U.S. electricity system from generation through end use. A mixture of panel discussions and a public comment period will frame multi-stakeholder discourse around deliberative analytical questions relating to the intersection of electricity and its role in promoting economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility.

DATES:

The public meeting will be held on February 4, 2016, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Written comments are welcome, especially following the public meeting, and should be submitted within 60 days of the meeting.

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be held at the United States Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium, in Washington, DC.

Starting on February 4, 2016, you may submit written comments online at http://energy.gov/​qer or by U.S. mail to the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, EPSA-60, QER Meeting Comments, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Richards, EPSA-60, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: 202-586-0507 Email: John.Richards@Hq.Doe.Gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On January 9, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum—Establishing a Quadrennial Energy Review. To accomplish this review, the Presidential Memorandum establishes a Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force to be co-chaired by the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council. Under the Presidential Memorandum, the Secretary of Energy shall provide support to the Task Force, including support for coordination activities related to the preparation of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) Report, policy analysis and modeling, and stakeholder engagement.

The Quadrennial Energy Review process itself involves robust engagement of federal agencies and outside stakeholders, and further enables the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of analytically based, integrated actions for proposed investments over a four year planning horizon. Unlike traditional federal Quadrennial Review processes, the QER is conducted in a multi-year installment series to allow for more focused analysis on particular sub-sectors of the energy system. The initial focus for the Quadrennial Energy Review was our Nation's transmission, storage and distribution infrastructures that link energy supplies to intermediate and end users, because these capital-intensive infrastructures tend to set supply and end use patterns, investments and practices in place for decades. On April 21, 2015, the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force released its first Quadrennial Energy Review installment report entitled, “Energy Transmission, Storage, and Distribution Infrastructure”. Among the issues highlighted by the analysis in the first installment of the QER were the growing dependencies of all critical infrastructures and economic sectors on electricity, as well as, the increasing interdependence of the various energy subsectors. In response to these findings, and to provide an appropriate consideration of an energy sector undergoing significant technological and regulatory change, the second installment of the QER will conduct a comprehensive review of the nation's electricity system, from generation to end use, including a more comprehensive look at electricity transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure covered in installment one. The electricity system encompasses not just physical structures, but also a range of actors and institutions. Under this broad framing, the second installment intends to consider the roles and activities of all relevant actors, industries, and institutions integral to continuing to supply reliable and affordable electricity at a time of dramatic change in technology development. Issues to be considered in QER analyses include fuel choices, distributed and centralized generation, physical and cyber vulnerabilities, federal, state, and local policy direction, expectations of residential and commercial consumers, and a review of existing and evolving business models for a range of entities throughout the system.

Significant changes will be required to meet the transformational opportunities and challenges posed by our evolving electricity system. The Administration is seeking public input on key questions relating to possible federal actions that would address the challenges and take full advantage of the opportunities of this changing system to meet the Nation's objectives of reliable, affordable and clean electricity. Over the course of 2016, the Secretariat for the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force will hold a series of public meetings to discuss and receive comments on the issues outlined above, and well as, others, as they relate to the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review.Start Printed Page 4026

The Department of Energy has a broad role in energy policy development and the largest role in implementing the Federal Government's energy research and development portfolio. Many other executive departments and agencies also play key roles in developing and implementing policies governing energy resources and consumption, as well as, associated environmental impacts. In addition, non-Federal actors are crucial contributors to energy policies. Because most energy and related infrastructure is owned by private entities, investment by and engagement of, input from the private sector is necessary to develop and implement effective policies. State and local policies, the views of non-governmental, environmental, faith-based, labor, and other social organizations, and contributions from the academic and non-profit sectors are also critical to the development and implementation of effective Federal energy policies.

The interagency Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force, which includes members from all relevant executive departments and agencies, will develop an integrated review of energy policy that integrates all of these perspectives. It will build on the foundation provided in the Administration's Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future of March 30, 2011, and Climate Action Plan released on June 25, 2013. The Task Force will offer recommendations on what additional actions it believes would be appropriate. These may include recommendations on additional executive or legislative actions to address the energy challenges and opportunities facing the Nation.

February 4, 2016: Quadrennial Energy Review Public Meeting

On February 4, 2016, the DOE will hold a public meeting in Washington, DC on electricity from generation through end use. The meeting will feature facilitated panel discussions, followed by an open microphone session. People who would like to speak during the open microphone session at the public meeting should come prepared to speak for no more than five minutes and will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the order in which they register to speak on a sign-in sheet available at the meeting location, on the morning of the meeting.

In advance of the meeting, DOE anticipates making publicly available a briefing memorandum providing useful background information regarding the topics under discussion at the meeting. DOE will post this memorandum on its Web site: http://energy.gov/​qer.

Submitting comments online. DOE will accept public comments on the QER from February 4, 2016, to July 1, 2016, at http://energy.gov/​qer. Submitting comments online to the DOE Web site will require you to provide your name and contact information. Your contact information will be viewable to DOE staff only. Your first and last names, organization name (if any), and submitter representative name (if any), will be publicly viewable. Your contact information will be publicly viewable if you include it in the comment itself or in any documents attached to your comment. Any information that you do not want to be publicly viewable should not be included in your comment, nor in any document attached to your comment. Otherwise, persons viewing comments will see only first and last names, organization names, correspondence containing comments, and any documents submitted with the comments.

Do not submit information for which disclosure is restricted by statute, such as trade secrets and commercial or financial information (hereinafter referred to as Confidential Business Information (CBI)). Comments submitted through the DOE Web site cannot be claimed as CBI. Comments received through the Web site will waive any CBI claims for the information submitted. For information on submitting CBI, see the Confidential Business Information section, below.

If you do not want your personal contact information to be publicly viewable, do not include it in your comment or any accompanying documents. Instead, provide your contact information in a cover letter. Include your first and last names, email address, telephone number, and optional mailing address. The cover letter will not be publicly viewable as long as it does not include any comments.

Include contact information each time you submit comments, data, documents, and other information to DOE. If you submit via mail or hand delivery/courier, please provide all items on a CD, if feasible, in which case it is not necessary to submit printed copies. No tele-facsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.

Comments, data, and other information submitted to DOE electronically should be provided in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format. Provide documents that are not secured, written in English, and are free of any defects or viruses. Documents should not contain special characters or any form of encryption and, if possible, they should carry the electronic signature of the author.

Confidential Business Information. Pursuant to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via email, postal mail, or hand delivery/courier two well-marked copies: one copy of the document marked “confidential” including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document marked “non-confidential” with the information believed to be confidential deleted. Submit these documents via email or on a CD, if feasible. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination. Confidential information should be submitted to the Confidential QER email address: QERConfidential@hq.doe.gov.

Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat submitted information as confidential include: (1) a description of the items; (2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as confidential within the industry; (3) whether the information is generally known by or available from other sources; (4) whether the information has previously been made available to others without obligation concerning its confidentiality; (5) an explanation of the competitive injury to the submitting person which would result from public disclosure; (6) when such information might lose its confidential character due to the passage of time; and (7) why disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest. It is DOE's policy that all comments may be included in the public docket, without change and as received, including any personal information provided in the comments (except information deemed to be exempt from public disclosure).

Other Public QER Meetings

Specific dates and locations will be announced in future Federal Register notices and on the DOE Web site at http://energy.gov/​qer.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on January 19, 2016.

April Salas,

QER Secretariat Director, Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force, U.S. Department of Energy.

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[FR Doc. 2016-01372 Filed 1-22-16; 8:45 am]

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