Obama Administration Announces Members of Steering Team to Lead Interagency Coordination of Unconventional Oil and Gas Research and Development
As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above approach to American energy, three federal agencies announced today the members of the steering team that will lead efforts to coordinate research addressing the challenges of safely and prudently developing unconventional shale gas and tight oil resources. The formation of the steering team is the first step in the formal cross-government coordination required under President Obama’s Executive Order released last month, and announced in a joint memorandum signed on April 13, 2012 by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U. S. Department of the Interior.
Domestic natural gas and oil will continue to play a critical role in America’s energy future. Since 2008, domestic oil and gas production has risen every year, while imports have fallen. Unconventional oil and gas production has been a key factor in this emerging trend. As President Obama has made clear, the U.S. must develop all of America’s energy resources, while giving American families and communities confidence that natural and cultural resources, air and water quality, and public health and safety will not be compromised.
The Steering Team is leading a multi-agency collaboration to coordinate research and development to address the highest priority challenges associated with safe and responsible development of domestic unconventional shale gas and tight oil resources. Each agency has a different set of experiences and research competencies relevant to this challenge, and the three agencies coordinate research efforts. The steering team announced today will enhance the on-going cooperative activities and will oversee a multi-year, inter-agency research plan under which the three agencies will cooperate on research topics as appropriate.
As per the memorandum, the Steering Team consists of two members from each of the three agencies, one member focused on policy and one member focused on research and technology. In addition, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy provides a member to serve on the committee.
The Department of Energy will serve as the lead agency of the Steering Committee for the first year, with DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas Christopher Smith serving as chair. The Steering Team may establish technical subcommittees as appropriate to analyze research gaps, prioritize topics, create a multi-year research plan, and accomplish other tasks as established by the joint memorandum.
Steering team representatives are as follows with biographies below: Read More »»