December 12, 2008

CNAS Working Paper on Remodeling the U.S. Government for Energy Security

WASHINGTON, DC, December 10, 2008 - President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden have cited energy independence and tackling climate change as top priorities for their administration.  The announcement of their energy and environment team will provide a fuller picture of what form his administration's energy security agenda will take. 

But is the federal government up to the task?

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has been seeking to answer that question by "mapping" the U.S. government's ability to make and execute energy security policy. CNAS is releasing a Working Paper by Senior Fellow for Energy and National Security Sharon Burke, Remodeling the U.S. Government for Energy Security: Initial Findings from the Big Energy Map, informed by new research, analysis, and months of interviews with key players in federal agencies. This paper offers some initial observations and recommendations about possible structural shifts the new administration could make to improve the ability of the U.S. government to fulfill the President-elect's vision.

A national strategy, an office within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) to develop and implement the strategy, and supportive infrastructure in federal government agencies will all be indispensable to a transformative energy security policy. Ultimately, the most important element in harnessing the power of the federal government to achieve energy security will be people - the President himself, but also the people of the EOP, the federal agencies, and Congress, and the relationships among them. This new report suggests that a new strategy and structural changes are needed to create the conditions in which people will succeed.

Please visit the CNAS Energy and National Security web page to see related projects and publications. For media inquiries, please contact Price Floyd or Shannon O'Reilly via email at or or by phone at (202) 457-9400.


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The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values. CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.