Immediate reductions in EIA’s energy data and analysis programs necessitated by FY 2011 funding cut
WASHINGTON, DC – The final fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget provides $95.4 million for the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a reduction of $15.2 million, or 14 percent, from the FY 2010 level.
“The lower FY 2011 funding level will require significant cuts in EIA’s data, analysis, and forecasting activities,” said EIA Administrator Richard Newell. “EIA had already taken a number of decisive steps in recent years to streamline operations and enhance overall efficiency, and we will continue to do so in order to minimize the impact of these cuts at a time when both policymaker and public interest in energy issues is high,” he said.
EIA must act quickly to realize the necessary spending reductions during the present fiscal year, which is already more than half over. The changes in products and services identified below reflect initial steps to reduce the cost of EIA’s program. Additional actions are being evaluated and may result in further adjustments to EIA’s data and analysis activities in the near future.
Initial adjustments to EIA’s data, analysis, and forecasting programs include the following:
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.
The changes outlined above and the additional actions that may be required to align EIA’s program with its FY 2011 funding level are undoubtedly painful for both users of EIA energy information and EIA’s dedicated Federal and contractor staff. We will work with stakeholders to minimize the disruption associated with the changes identified above and will issue specific guidance to affected survey respondents soon. We remain committed to maintaining the bulk of EIA’s comprehensive energy information program and strengthening it where possible, consistent with the available level of resources.