June 13, 2007

Wyden-Chambliss Introduce "WISE" Legislation to Draw on Intelligence Community Energy Expertise

Washington, DC - In an effort to better inform U.S. energy policy, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) - members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - introduced legislation today that would assign the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to submit an unclassified report on the long-term energy security of the United States. The "Weighing Intelligence for Smarter Energy" (WISE) Act draws on the Intelligence Community's analytical expertise on global energy issues.
"From the turmoil of the Middle East to the explosive growth of major energy consuming countries like India and China to the shifting policies of less predictable governments such as Russia and Venezuela, national security and energy security remain inextricably linked," said Wyden. "As policymakers attempt to grapple with these challenges, it is vital for them to be informed by the best thinking available. Our legislation taps the energy expertise that is spread throughout the Intelligence Community to produce smarter energy security policies."
"As the country recognizes the danger of relying on imported oil, we need to develop an energy policy that is aggressive while at the same time thoughtful," said Senator Chambliss. "Renewable fuels are not the only solution to our problems, but they can help reduce our dependence on imported oil from unstable regions of the world during a time of rising crude oil prices. At the same time, we must understand and be prepared for the unintended consequences of pursuing alternative fuel policies and to be sensitive to their impact on other sectors of the U.S. and global economies. Energy policy debates usually do not harness the full expertise of the Intelligence Community or consider the substantive analysis they may contribute to the debate. Our legislation will do just that."
Currently, the Intelligence Community's energy expertise is primarily used to produce classified assessments, which are largely unavailable for legislative policy discussions outside of closed Intelligence Committee hearings. The WISE Act would coordinate the production of an unclassified report on the intelligence community's assessments of key energy issues with implications for U.S. national security, such as: an assessment of the future of world energy supplies, a description of the policies being pursued by the world's major energy producing and consuming nations and an evaluation of the energy policies being pursued by these countries.