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Interagency Working Group on Alaska Energy

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Department of Energy

Overview of agency mission and activities

The mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to ensure America's security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. The DOE Strategic Plan states that:  

“The oil and gas industry will continue to meet our economy’s immediate needs by pushing into increasingly difficult frontiers, including deepwater operations offshore and unconventional gas onshore. The Department will ensure that the federal government’s understanding of the risks associated with these operations keeps pace. This will be accomplished through scientific assessment of the risks, potential impacts, and adequacy of current response and mitigation technologies.”  

DOE’s Alaska related activities include:  

  • Research and development regarding Arctic oil and gas. DOE’s relevant activities include research to quantify the risks of offshore exploration and production activities. DOE also conducts field work in Alaska on methane hydrate, a potentially large source of domestically produced natural gas.  
  • Interagency cooperation on Alaska and Arctic energy policy.  

Primary relevant mandates 

Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub.L. 109-58): DOE conducts research under the authority of EPAct 2005. 

Natural Gas Act: DOE regulates the export and import of natural gas under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). 

Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act: Public Law 108-324 authorizes the Secretary of Energy to enter into Federal loan guarantees to facilitate construction of an Alaska gas pipeline.