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President Obama orders sweeping energy review

Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Jan 9 2014

President Obama on Thursday ordered a sweeping review of energy strategy that will involve departments and agencies across the federal government.

Obama announced the review as part of his climate agenda last year, and as promised in his Georgetown speech last year, the Quadrennial Energy Review will focus on the nation's infrastructure.

As crude oil domestic production reaches a near 20-year high, and the natural-gas industry continues to boom, the U.S. must address its aging infrastructure, the White House said in a statement on Thursday.

In November, the administration took credit for the crude oil milestone, touting its fuel economy efforts among others as drivers.

"All this change test an aging infrastructure that must keep pace both with the transformations in energy supply, climate change and security," the White House said.

The formal announcement comes at a time when tensions have flared up over whether the U.S. should transport crude oil via railcar or pipeline, and whether the nation's electric grid is ready for the onslaught from renewable energy sources.

Thursday's order establishes the task force of federal agencies that will play parts in drafting the review.

The review is modeled after a similar Defense Department initiative and aims to get the agencies on the same page rather than operating in silos.

The first report is due in January of 2015.

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