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Comparing the responsibilities and authority of the Energy Department against rules and regulations

Updated on April 7, 2015


Our energy resources have enough volume to satisfy our needs for years to come. Some of this supply is being accessed by the initiative of states that have the legal authority to approve such production. The limitation of utilizing the technology on federal land is without sound justification especially since there has been little if any issues regarding the fracking process. The main mission of the energy department is provide below:

“is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.”

Energy independence has been a goal of our country for years and the current philosophy of the federal government is to restrict the use of fracking to retrieve the resources we now know exists. The energy department should be a part of this decision as it is their mission. One wonders with the knowledge which now exists whether executive departments have the authority to make decisions in the best interest of our country.

The strategic goals of this department are admirable in their objective to better secure our independence and while some decisions appear to be unchecked by the President others are squashed. It is true the government entities of the executive branch work for the President they should have the legal authority to make decisions which are in the best interest of the country subject to the overview of Congress. Congress is ultimately responsible for monitoring the actions of the executive department and the agencies within it.

The ultimate mission with regards to this department is to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States utilizing technological advances in innovation. In this respect this department is not accomplishing its mission. In achieving energy independence there are five strategic goals which one of which is energy security. Utilizing America’s energy resources through the available technology such as fracking is not being promoted as it should be. Part of the problem with this department is the fact that they can make decisions but do not have the final say with regards to implementing them. They are constantly being impacted by such departments as the EPA and the state department when in fact they have the mission to ensure environmental responsibility is evaluated against any decision they make.

Duplication of responsibility is a problem in the executive department. Currently departments and/or agencies constantly have to collaborate with others to get agreement which creates a dysfunctional situation. Other strategic goals involve ensuring America’s nuclear security, economic competitiveness and improving the quality of life through innovation in science and technology. Innovative technology is constantly being developed regarding our energy capabilities but it means nothing if the technology that is being developed or has been developed is not utilized to increase our energy independence.

Along with the environmental responsibilities of this government entity is the goal of management excellence. This requires the mission be accomplished through sound management decisions. One of the activities for which this department is involved is research programs in basic energy sciences including biological, environmental and computational science.

The need for energy independence cannot be ignored and the department is on the forefront to accomplish this need. Like other departments/agencies government entities associated with their responsibilities and authority need to be given the freedom to make decisions in the best interest of the country. These decisions should be separate from any political philosophy or policy. Decisions by all government entities at the executive department level should have the freedom without the need to converse with other departments/agencies. When other departments/agencies have a connection to the mission of another government entity there needs to be a determination as to who has the final authority to make a decision. In the area of energy this department should consider input from other entities and then make the appropriate decision.

In reference to our energy needs there does not appear to be a defined energy plan in association with the mission and values of the energy department. It is one thing to have a mission and goals but quite another to have a plan with a defined target date to achieve it. There has been much discussion within Congress about the need for energy independence from my research nothing has been firmly defined. To date there has been no comprehensive long-term energy policy. This needs to change if we are ever to accomplish energy independence. While there has been some improvement in our energy production it has been the result of private industry along with some states, not government.

The federal government needs to live up to their responsibilities to develop an energy plan to accomplish energy security. We are getting energy supply from countries who in some cases do not like us or the principles on which this country was found. It is time to eliminate this dependence and secure our energy needs now and into the future. We have enough energy resources within our borders we need only to remove the restrictions from accessing them. This action lies with the federal government.

With respect to the responsibilities of the energy department like other government entities the rules and regulations must match the laws currently in place. Party positions or political philosophy does not and should not trump the laws currently in place especially regarding our energy needs. Decisions made or not made regarding our energy needs affect our energy independence now and into the future.


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