October 2012, Vol. 239 No. 10

From the Burner Tip

Department Of Energy Makes Excellent Choice In New EIA Leader

Carol Freedenthal, Midstream Editor

Energy – a major player in a nation’s growth from Dark Ages to great economic, social, and technology power! No question, efficient, economic and plentiful energy sources have played a major role in the growth of this country. So important is energy considered that in the 1970s, when natural gas supplies were so low that schools and factories had to close and the oil-producing countries formed OPEC causing the price of oil to zoom up five to seven times, that Congress put all of the government agencies concerned with energy into one Cabinet-level organization, the Department of Energy (DOE).

Some of the agencies combined in the new super agency were the old Federal Energy Administration (FEA) and the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA). The new agency assumed responsibility for policies involving energy and safety in handling nuclear material as well as the nation’s nuclear weapons program and nuclear reactor production for the Navy. Its scope includes energy conservation, related research, radioactive waste disposal and domestic energy production. In 2009 it had 16,000 federal employees with a budget of $24.1 billion. In 2008 it also had 93,000 private contractors.

To ensure the organization could get the information and data it needed to operate efficiently and in the best interests of the country, the DOE created its own information supplier, analyzer, and forecasting service and in 1977 formed the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA is the nation’s premier source of energy information. By law, the data, analyses and forecasts are independent of approval by any other government officer or employee. It is also a major global information resource on energy matters.

The EIA collects, analyzes and disseminates domestic and international energy and related data on an impartial and independent basis to help the government, both its agencies and Congress, make sound policy decisions. It is also useful in helping to create and promote efficient markets; finally, it helps the public develop an understanding of energy and its interaction with the country’s economy and the environment.

Internationally the EIA is used by many governments and businesses to supply energy and economic data. It is also a very useful tool for educators and students interested in energy and economic information. In fact, there is a special publication for young people, EIA Kid’s Page (http://www.eia.gov/kids/.

The EIA provides a wide range of information and data products on energy production, stocks, demand, imports and exports, and prices. All are free to the public. It is located in Washington, DC, has about 400 employees and received annual budget for fiscal 2012 of $105 million.

Activities are led by an administrator, deputy administrator and three assistant administrators. Each assistant administrator handles a major portion of the agency’s scope: Energy Analyses, Energy Statistics, and Communications.

In June, Adam Sieminski was sworn in as the eighth administrator since 1977. He previously was the chief energy economist for one of the world’s largest banks, Deutsche Bank.

At Deutsche Bank he directed many of the same types of activities he is now responsible for at the EIA. His knowledge of the industry and participation as an operator at such a large and important commercial operation makes him an ideal choice to head the EIA.

From 2005 until Match 2012 he worked with Deutsche Bank’s commodities and trading units. He was known for his forecasting of energy supply/demand and pricing. He was able to combine information from various contacts and sources throughout industry, government and academia into a useful context.

Sieminski has written extensively on energy, economics, climate change, geopolitics, and commodity markets including supply/demand, and pricing. Before becoming chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank, he was its director and chief energy strategist for the Global Oil and Gas Equity Team from 1998-2005. Before joining Deutsche Bank, from 1988-1997 he was senior energy analyst for NatWest Securities in the U.S. where he followed the major international U.S. integrated oil companies.

Sieminski has also served on many national committees and chaired several involving energy. He chaired the Supply-Demand Committee of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA). He was an advisory member of the Strategic Energy Task Force of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the Washington, DC investment professional society. He was also a senior adviser to the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonpartisan policy think-tank.

In 2006, he was appointed to the National Petroleum Council (NPC) which advises the secretary of Energy. He was a contributor to the NPC’s Global Oil and Gas Study; The Hard Truths.

Sieminski has a degree in Civil Engineering from Cornell University as well as a master’s degree in Public Administration from Cornell. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

The EIA has reporting systems within each of the states as to supply/demand and pricing. Not only does it follow U.S. energy data, it maintains data sources on international conditions as well.

Data, analyses and forecasts are published in a variety of publications ranging from daily to annual. The daily product is “Today in Energy”. Weekly products cover various energy commodities ranging from natural gas (storage and use), coal, petroleum, and related products such as gasoline and diesel fuels.

The monthly publications cover all energy products and include a special overall report, Short-Term Energy Outlook and a Monthly Energy Review. Quarterly reports are available on coal and uranium. Annual reports are cover major fuels as well as an overall summary on energy for the year and an outlook. An international energy outlook is also available.

All reports are free and can be ordered in many ways. In addition to data collection, tabulation and analysis, the EIA publishes various special reports on specific topics. A recent sampling includes: Effect of Increased Natural Gas Exports on Domestic Energy Markets, Sales of Fossil Fuels Produced from Federal and Indian Lands and Analysis of the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012.

All EIA products can be accessed via its Website http://www.eia.gov. The site has approximately 2.23 million visits each month. The EIA distributes information and data on specific topics through 39 e-mail subscription lists and 10 RSS feeds.

EIA representatives can also be called directly or contacted via e-mail. The Website has information on other ways to contact the EIA.


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