Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) wrote to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Dan Brouillette today demanding answers for DOE’s delay in implementing the survey and other procedures that serve as the basis for the upcoming 2021 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER). The USEER is an annual report constructed from a survey administered to approximately 30,000 employers across 53 different energy technologies. The USEER provides critical, often groundbreaking insights into the energy sector, including the status of jobs, skills and demographics. Pallone and Rush write that this insight is needed now more than ever, given the adverse impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the energy industry.
“The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a devastating impact on our nation, killing more than 180,000 Americans and leaving tens of millions without a job. Since the onset of the pandemic, the U.S. has lost over 1.3 million energy sector jobs, including more than 600,000 clean energy jobs,” wrote Pallone and Rush. “We are therefore troubled that DOE has taken no apparent action to ensure the timely collection of survey data for the upcoming installment of the USEER, which would provide data on 2020 employment conditions.”
The two Committee leaders view the report as an essential resource for energy sector workforce recovery, diversification and modernization. In the letter, they reiterate that report data should be collected this month to ensure year to year comparability, and that during an Energy Subcommittee hearing in July, Secretary Brouillette committed to completing the 2021 USEER as scheduled.
“During the hearing, Chairman Rush inquired about DOE’s completion of timely and accurate data collection for the report’s upcoming installment. In response to his question, you suggested DOE was behind in this process but committed to completing the 2021 USEER on time,” Pallone and Rush continued. “As a follow-up, we now request DOE provide a briefing to Committee staff on the current status of the 2021 USEER so that we can ensure that this data can be used to help restore critical energy sector jobs.”
The Committee leaders outline a series of questions to which they request answers, including what DOE’s timeline is for completing the 2021 USEER, what actions DOE is taking to successfully implement such a timeline and whether DOE plans to make any changes to the survey from which the report is compiled. They request that the Committee be briefed and that they receive answers to their questions no later than September 17, 2020.
The full letter is available HERE.
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