Major Reports Under Way at Energy Department

Eli is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine.

Yesterday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu told the Senate Budget Committee that his agency has begun work on its portion of a national energy policy that may be assembled by the Obama Administration.

Last fall, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology called for a comprehensive, governmentwide report on national energy policy modeled on the quadrennial review of military policy conducted by the Department of Defense. The Department of Energy (DOE) has dubbed its contribution a Quadrennial Technology Review, which it hopes to submit to the White House by August.

(Insider has asked the Administration whether other agencies have begun to assemble their segments of the larger document, which would combine relevant sections from departments such as Interior and Transportation.)

Meanwhile, there's 23 days left for public comment on DOE's draft 2011-16 strategic plan, released last week. The 54-page document appears to offer general principles rather than a blow-by-blow review of each part of the $26 billion agency. It avoids the weeds on energy policy, for example, by providing DOE's role in various aspects of the energy challenge rather than listing detailed goals of the current Administration.

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