Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Funding Cuts for the Energy Information Administration?

Despite our economy's ever-increasing reliance on information as a means for creating value, federal budgeteering has resulted in a sizeable reduction of funding for the Energy Information Administration. A 14 percent cut to the EIA's budget is to be extracted now, not by spreading the cut over a full year, but instead squeezing it from the remaining FY 2011 budget, which runs through September 30.

Dr. R. Neal Elliott of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy provides a compelling synopsis in the ACEEE blog that describes the economic benefits of maintaining solid energy data.

At the very least, state energy offices and utilities may want to note the loss of federal data sources as they plan their own regional data management.

Here's what the EIA plans to curtail in response to budget cuts:

Oil and Natural Gas Information

•Do not prepare or publish 2011 edition of the annual data release on U.S. proved oil and natural gas reserves.

•Curtail efforts to understand linkages between physical energy markets and financial trading.

•Suspend analysis and reporting on the market impacts of planned refinery outages.

•Curtail collection and dissemination of monthly state-level data on wholesale petroleum product prices, including gasoline, diesel, heating oil, propane, residual fuel oil, and kerosene. Also, terminate the preparation and publication of the annual petroleum marketing data report and the fuel oil and kerosene sales report.

•Suspend auditing of data submitted by major oil and natural gas companies and reporting on their 2010 financial performance through EIA's Financial Reporting System.

•Reduce collection of data from natural gas marketing companies.

•Cancel the planned increase in resources to be applied to petroleum data quality issues.

•Reduce data collection from smaller entities across a range of EIA oil and natural gas surveys.

Electricity, Renewables, and Coal Information

•Reduce data on electricity exports and imports.

•Terminate annual data collection and report on geothermal space heating (heat pump) systems.

•Terminate annual data collection and report on solar thermal systems.

•Reduce data collection from smaller entities across a range of EIA electricity and coal surveys.

Consumption, Efficiency, and International Energy Information

•Suspend work on EIA's 2011 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), the Nation's only source of statistical data for energy consumption and related characteristics of commercial buildings.

•Terminate updates to EIA's International Energy Statistics.
Energy Analysis Capacity

•Halt preparation of the 2012 edition of EIA's International Energy Outlook.

•Suspend further upgrades to the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). NEMS is the country's preeminent tool for developing projections of U.S. energy production, consumption, prices, and technologies and its results are widely used by policymakers, industry, and others in making energy-related decisions. A multiyear project to replace aging NEMS components will be halted.

•Eliminate annual published inventory of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States.

•Limit responses to requests from policymakers for special analyses.
In addition to these program changes, EIA will cut live telephone support at its Customer Contact Center.



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