A new report  to the White House by its committee of scientific advisers calls for a new mechanism to improve federal energy research: a quadrennial review of energy science across the government. The goal is to improve coordination, identify national needs more quickly, and spend federal dollars more wisely. Existing White House interagency teams are supposed to do this kind of coordination, but today's report by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology says a "new process" is required.
Energy research policy is "an amalgam, and often derivative, of policies for environment, competitiveness, security, finance, land use, and more," the report says. To make this national priority more of a central goal of the Administration, the report says, a 4-year effort could force federal agencies to work together, lay out priorities, and do the groundwork for comprehensive legislative proposals.
The report suggests that the secretary of energy lead the effort, with the first report appearing in 2015.