April 06, 2009

CNAS Launches The Big Energy Map

WASHINGTON, DC, April 6, 2009 - The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the Vice President for Natural Security, Sharon Burke, are pleased to announce the launch of The Big Energy Map, an interactive map that traces how the federal government is set up to make and execute energy and climate security policy.

Visit the site: http://www.bigenergymap.org

Energy security and climate change have emerged as two of the top national security and foreign policy issues facing the United States.  In order for President Obama and his administration to implement a strategy for these challenges, they will need to have a clear picture of how the U.S. government is set up to make and execute energy security policy. CNAS in partnership with the Markle Foundation has therefore created a "Big Energy Map" of the offices and agencies in the U.S. government that will be important to transforming how the nation confronts these dual challenges.

"The Big Energy Map charts the critical nodes for executing a national energy security strategy," notes CNAS Vice President for Natural Security, Sharon Burke. "We hope the map is useful for the new Administration, and look forward to engaging in a two-way conversation with the users of this tool."

CNAS and the Markle Foundation launched The Big Energy Map project in summer 2008. They first conducted research and organized information on the roles of federal offices in a wiki, and then supplemented that database with interviews of individuals who play a major role in confronting energy security and climate change issues. In December 2008, CNAS released a draft working paper, Remodeling the U.S. Government for Energy Security: Initial Findings from the Big Energy Map, based on the research, interviews, and group discussions that went into the project. This working paper is now posted on The Big Energy Map website, and in the coming weeks CNAS will embed expert video commentary on its recommendations creating an interactive "final report."

This project and the supplemental video are meant to clarify the efforts of individual offices as well as how individuals, departments, and agencies collaborate and cooperate. As structures, hierarchies, and relationships change constantly in the government, the Big Energy Map is not meant to provide a comprehensive list of all related activities; indeed, part of the challenge of coordinating federal action is the incredible number of actors who form a piece of this puzzle.  Recognizing that we're mapping difficult terrain, CNAS encourages any input regarding what may be missing from the map and initial findings.

Please visit The Big Energy Map and email us at cnas@bigenergymap.org with any comments or suggestions.