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Chairs of New Effort Urge Rigorous Reassessment of US Energy Policy Goals, Metrics and Accountability

Former Senators Trent Lott (R-MS) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND), General Jim Jones (Ret.) and Oil Spill Commission Co-chair William K. Reilly recently announced they will lead the new Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Energy Project with a focus on key national energy policy issues, including energy security, supply, reliability, cost and sustainability. Senators Lott and Dorgan will be Co-Chairmen of the new project. General Jones, former National Security Advisor to President Obama, will serve as National Security Chair, and Mr. Reilly, a former EPA Administrator under President George H.W. Bush, will serve as Energy and Environment Chair.

The group today also released an Open Letter to the American People and America’s Leaders: A New Era for U.S. Energy Security. In the Open Letter, the leaders noted:

“Recent events in the Middle East, North Africa, Japan, and the Gulf of Mexico have made clear that America today faces new energy challenges. Widespread unrest in the Middle East has precipitated another sharp rise in global oil prices. The East Coast is again closed to offshore oil production, and the nuclear crisis in Japan raises a series of near and longer term questions with global security implications…In our view, these recent events, challenges, and past failures, demand a fundamental reassessment of America’s energy policy goals, decision-making structures, and policies—a reevaluation that places energy security at the very center of energy policy.”

The Chairmen announced that the project will add a bipartisan group of 10 to 12 additional members, to be named within weeks, from the highest ranks of industry and energy policy experts. The BPC Energy Project will issue periodic reports on key issues over 2011 and 2012 relevant to near- and long-term policy, to be conducted both by full Project Leadership and by smaller Task Forces and Project members. In December 2012, the group will issue a report on “Energy Opportunities for the President and New Congress.”

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