Energy Emergency Information Needs:

Adequacy of Data Dissemination: State, Industry, and Government Views

RCED-86-58BR: Published: Dec 20, 1985. Publicly Released: Jan 10, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the extent to which the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are meeting the energy emergency statistical data and information needs of states and industry.

GAO noted that: (1) state and industry officials agreed that EIA is providing reliable and high quality data needed to allow them to properly plan for an oil shortage; and (2) some state officials, however, expressed a general lack of understanding of the mutual roles and responsibilities of the federal and state governments during an oil shortage. GAO found that: (1) because a wide variety of energy production and consumption patterns exist among states and industries, their need for and use of petroleum data vary; (2) 13 out of the 14 states reviewed used recurring EIA publications containing data on a regional and national basis; (3) 13 out of 14 states considered EIA data important to their planning efforts and critical in times of emergency; and (4) states also used a variety of non-EIA data sources for petroleum data estimates. GAO also found that: (1) without the historical baseline data that EIA provides, it would be difficult to make rational decisions during an energy emergency; (2) industry officials who use EIA data believe that the data are useful, but there is no need for additional data; (3) energy officials from 10 of the 14 states reviewed stated that they did not have sufficient information on the DOE energy emergency preparedness program; (4) 7 of the 14 states desired assurance that emergency information could be effectively communicated over the DIALCOM system; and (5) most industries were satisfied with their understanding of the DOE energy emergency plan.

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