The Failure of the

Comprehensive National Energy Strategy*

An in-depth analytical report by

Thomas Valone, M.A., P.E.

with Jacqueline Valone

Integrity Research Institute (IRI) has released a 176-page report, "Energy Crisis: The Failure of the Comprehensive National Energy Strategy" (CNES) that finds only 35% of the 1998 DOE’s CNES* had any chance of fulfillment. "This is unacceptable," states IRI President and "Energy Crisis" author, Thomas Valone, "especially when the rest of the world is looking to the U. S. as a leader in technology and economy." Spanning the reign of DOE Secretaries Pena and Richardson, the strategies of the CNES were found to be most successful where the DOE had the authority to implement change. Examples of these include the development of more efficient energy technologies for the transportation sector and Federal buildings energy use. However, a wide variety of the 1998 DOE strategies were vague intentions for improvement such as, "cooperate with foreign governments" and "maintain a viable nuclear option," where no progress could be measured or decline was unavoidable. The worst strategy of the DOE 1998 publication, in IRI opinion, is under Goal III, Objective 2, intending to "promote international joint efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions" while at the same time, the technology-bereft State Department defeated such efforts.

Some of the "Energy Crisis" key findings are: (1) The CNES does not address where an increasing amount of energy can come from to meet future U.S. energy demands which will exceed energy production by 40 quads (quadrillion Btu) in 2020; (2) The CNES does not address the expected 2010 peak of world oil production and the projected decline; (3) The CNES promotes increasing carbon emissions through 2010 to 44% higher than 1990 levels or 51% higher than the Kyoto Protocol; (4) The CNES fails to indicate the advantages of reducing carbon emissions and the cost-effective benefits of doing so, even when a 1997 five-laboratory DOE report (ORNL/CON-444) showed the paybacks that will meet or exceed the investment in three out of four sectors.

Though the 1998 CNES also stressed the promotion of stability in the nation’s energy supplies, IRI finds that the DOE efforts primarily created a short-term, false sense of security, while depriving the nation of viable future energy choices. Specific energy alternatives, a protocol for stabilizing atmospheric CO2 at safe levels, and many charts and graphs are included in this detailed analysis of the previous administration’s attempt at energy management. Energy Crisis is $30 plus $2 shipping from Integrity Research Institute:, 800-295-7674 or local number, 202-452-7674.

*Released in April, 1998, the DOE Comprehensive National Energy Strategy is available on the DOE homepage for viewing. The direct address to it is

A summary of the CNES Goals and Objectives is found below in the Contents of this report. All of the Strategies are analyzed individually in the Energy Crisis report.


This publication was made possible through the generous assistance of the Alternative Energy Institute, (AEI) a non-profit, educational organization.

For more information, please visit AEI's internationally acclaimed website at: <>

Permission to publish excerpts granted, with credit given to AEI and the Integrity Research Institute.
Dohn K. Riley, Executive Director, Alternative Energy Institute, Inc., PO Box 7074, Tahoe City CA 96145 USA, Phone: 530-583-1720 Fax: 530-583-5153

Integrity Research Institute, 1220 L St. NW #100-232, Washington, DC 20005 202-452-7674, 800-295-7674, FAX: 301-513-5728

free publication catalog upon request

Note the abbreviation convention used throughout this report: G1,O2,S3 = Goal 1, Objective 2, Strategy 3 for example.



Goal I. Improve the efficiency of the energy system -making more productive use of energy resources to enhance overall economic performance while protection the environment and advancing national security. Objective 1. Support competitive and efficient electric systems. Enact electric utility restructuring legislation, develop advanced coal/gas powerplants, improve existing nuclear power plants Objective 2. Significantly increase energy efficiency in the transportation, industrial and building sectors by 2010 Develop more efficient transportation, industrial, and building technologies. Objective 3. Increase the efficiency of Federal energy use. Adopt new/innovative energy-efficient and renewable technologies.

Goal II. Ensure against energy disruptions – protecting our economy from external threat of interrupted supplies or infrastructure failure. Objective 1. Reduce the vulnerability of the U.S. economy to disruptions in oil supply. Stabilize domestic production, maintain readiness of Strategic Petroleum Reserve, diversify import sources, reduce consumption Objective 2. Ensure energy system reliability, flexibility, and emergency response capability. Ensure reliable electricity/gas supply, refining and emergency response.

Goal III. Promote energy production and use in ways that respect health and environmental values – improving our health and local, regional, and global environmental quality. Objective 1. Increase domestic energy production in an environmentally responsible manner. Increase domestic gas production, recover oil with less environmental impact, develop renewable technologies, maintain viable nuclear option. Objective 2. Accelerate the development and market adoption of environmentally friendly technologies Increase near-deployment, expand voluntary efforts, design domestic greenhouse gas trading program, work with developing countries, design international trading/credit systems.

Goal IV. Expand future energy choices – pursuing continued progress in science and technology to provide future generations with a robust portfolio of clean and reasonably priced energy sources. Objective 1. Maintain a strong national knowledge base as the foundation for informed energy decisions new energy systems, and enabling technologies of the future. Pursue basic research, including research on carbon/climate;support energy science infrastructure Objective 2. Develop technologies that expand long-term energy options. Develop long-options, such as fusion, hydrogen-based systems, and methane hydrates, that can have major impact

Goal V. Cooperate internationally on global issues – developing the means to address global economic, security, environmental concerns. Objective 1. Promote development of open, competitive international energy markets, and facilitate the adoption of clean, safe, and efficient energy systems. Encourage adoption of favorable legal/policy framework in other countries, promote clean/efficient energy systems and science/technology collaboration Objective 2. Promote foreign regional stability by reducing energy-related environmental risks in areas of U.S. security interest. Prioritize concerns and develop cost-effective solutions.

Afterword by Dr. John Powers


Energy Crisis: Key Findings

  1. The Comprehensive National Energy Strategy (CNES) does not address where an increasing amount of energy can come from to meet future U.S. energy demands which will exceed energy production by 40 quads (quadrillion Btu) in 2020.

  2. U.S. oil and nuclear production is decreasing. Energy demand will probably begin to exceed available energy sources unless a vigorous new development program is begun immediately. Even though G4,O1,S3 and G4,O2,S1 seem to address future energy developments, the present research that the DOE supports is clearly inadequate for approaching a self-sustaining economy. The CNES long-term energy strategies will not free us from fossil fuels nor sustain us with fossil fuels.

  3. The CNES does not address the expected 2010 peak of world oil production and the projected decline.

  4. It should be an advance warning for any national energy strategy to help prepare the society for hard times ahead by anticipating oil cutbacks and price increases. With OPEC unwilling to increase production, the only other option is the Caspian Sea Region, whose production rate is not projected to meet future U.S. oil demands. Though American companies own the oil wells in the area, the production rate is only expected to reach 3.9 million barrels per day by 2010, a mere 20% of the U.S. present import rate. Meanwhile, the world energy demand is scheduled to increase 60% by 2020. (International Energy Agency diagram: A=world oil demand; B=world crude production; C=OPEC production; D=other oil producers)

  5. The CNES has an overall success rate of only 35%, with twelve strategies out of a total of thirty-four having a chance of fulfillment. With such important energy issues and the welfare of our country at stake, this success rate is unacceptable, especially when the rest of the world is looking to the U.S. as a leader in technology and economy.

  6. The Federal Building energy efficiency program has been indicated to be progressing. This finding from the CNES shows that the DOE can be instrumental in achieving widespread influence with a concerted effort. At least fourteen programs are documented in our study showing progress toward the G1,O3,S1 Strategy of saving 30% by 2005.

  7. The CNES promotes increasing carbon emissions through 2010 to 44% higher than 1990 levels or 51% higher than the Kyoto Protocol.

    The facts proving this environmentally hazardous administrative policy by the world’s biggest polluter are spread throughout the CNES report. Examples include G2,O2,S3 and G3,O1,S1 that guarantee the growth of natural gas supply and usage, based only upon economic considerations. All five of the contradictory G3,O2 Strategies demonstrate the absence of any unilateral commitment toward a U.S. reduction of carbon emissions.
  8. The CNES fails to indicate the advantages of reducing carbon emissions and the cost-effective benefits of doing so.

    A 1997 five-laboratory DOE report, ORNL/CON-444, has indicated the paybacks that will meet or exceed the investment in three out of four sectors (as seen in diagram). A vigorous national commitment to develop and deploy cost-effective, energy-efficient, and low-carbon technologies could reduce carbon emissions at least to 1990 levels, according to the report. The study estimates that the "cost" in dollars per ton of carbon emissions are negative, meaning that they more than pay for themselves. Only the utilities will have to make a net positive investment in reducing carbon emissions. Why the results of this DOE report were not incorporated into the CNES, in addition to the afterthought Appendix B on climate change tax credits, remains unknown. (Source: Physics Today Nov. 20, p. 31)


Not since the 1977 "National Energy Plan" has the U.S. Department of Energy addressed national energy in an organized report. Released in April, 1998, the former Secretary of Energy, Federico Pena, announced in the first page of the Comprehensive National Energy Strategy (#DOE/S-0124) that "we recognize that the environmental effects from production and use of energy are significant. On a local level, we know that fossil fuel use is associated with regional haze and smog. On a global scale, many experts believe that human activities associated with energy production and use have significantly altered the composition of atmospheric gases." However honest this disclosure seems to be, in the same Message, the Secretary also admitted that "our own dependence on imported oil is expected to grow from 50 percent today to 60 percent by 2010." Thus the implied strategy is clear: the U. S. and the Department of Energy leadership will continue to alter the composition of atmospheric gases through 2010 at the same or higher level than at the present time! This strategy is confirmed by the Energy Information Administration at the Department of Energy (EIA/DOE) which released the projected graph (below) of carbon emissions related to electricity generation from 1997 - 2020.

What follows is a cleverly planned scenario for creating, as the Secretary says in the above Message, "a journey toward energy security, economic expansion, and protection of our environment." Noting the order of priority in the directive, the environment again comes up last.

At the time the few hearings were held throughout the country in 1997 for public testimony (five minutes each) I testified on behalf of new energy inventions that were not being represented or researched by Federal support dollars. A short summary of the Valone contribution appears appropriately in the DOE published Comprehensive National Energy Strategy (CNES) in the Goal IV section on expanding "future energy choices," under Objective 2 "Develop technologies that expand long-term energy options" on page 57: "Another commenter encouraged DOE to form an office for emerging technologies. The commenter explained that truly new groundbreaking technologies would emerge only when an office is established to engage scientists and researchers who are on the fringe of technology. The commenter explained that much of the research that is currently done in DOE is mainstream and these fringe researchers need an environment in which their work is taken seriously to flourish and publicize their achievements."

I handed Secretary Pena a set of unusual patents on new energy devices which a year later no one could locate within the DOE. Dr. Eshan Khan in the Breakthrough Physics Department indicated that he should have received the patent collection but confirmed his inability to obtain the papers that I shared with the Secretary of Energy. The testimony that was put on the record in 1997 in my behalf still rings true in the year 2000. The example of Dr. George Miley, a professor at the University of Illinois, is an important one to show how abuse is delivered by the DOE to emerging energy scientists. In 1999, Dr. Miley was awarded the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) grant of $100,000 to test a thin-film electrolytic cell power unit he already developed and published to transmute nuclear waste. It was announced by the DOE and posted on their DOE/NERI website. The backlash against cold fusion started to occur shortly afterwards. A spokesperson from the DOE confirmed that this reaction included the vociferous Dr. Robert Park, Public Affairs Spokesperson of the American Physical Society and the outspoken Dr. Peter Zimmerman from the State Department, both of whom use their membership in the American Physical Society to prevent new physics from emerging into the public eye and, at the same time, jump to the opportunity to label "pseudoscience" wherever they can. Their accusation was, according to a DOE source, their personal opinion that the NERI people are not qualified to select Dr. Miley for a grant, even though the "NERI people" are really nuclear engineers. A few letters from environmental groups also filtered into the Secretary’s office complaining that if Miley was given the grant and he was successful, nuclear plants would then proliferate. As the DOE started to blow with the public windstorm and initiate another evaluation of Dr. Miley’s application supposedly with six new "independent" reviewers, Senator Bob Smith wrote a letter on July 28, 1999 to John Angell, the Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs at the DOE. In that letter he stated, among other things, that: "It is my understanding that George Miley’s academic credentials are well regarded and that his proposal was already subjected to peer review. What seems to have precipitated this unprecedented additional review is that his proposal is similar to work being done by scientists who are investigating ‘cold fusion.’ I am aware that there are some experts who do not like ‘cold fusion’ and that DOE is concerned that its NERI dollars are spent wisely. But to not investigate a potential method of transforming radioactive waste into harmless byproducts, seems extremely short-sighted and perhaps related to an inherent bias at DOE toward conventional fusion technology." Even with such a clear and powerful Congressional recommendation, within a few months, the DOE Office of NEST claims that another review board of "six scientists voted unanimously" to rescind the Miley grant, under the direction of William Magwood. However, sources within the DOE doubt that another review board was really ever convened.

In summary, I view the problem with emerging energy technologies in the same vein as the previous problem with alternative health treatments. It took an Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institute of Health to help bring these treatments into the mainstream of acceptability. I still believe that a new "Office of Emerging Technologies" at the DOE could bring about a similar revolution in closed-minded scientists as stated in my 1997 CNES testimony. At the very least, it might prevent the railroading of legitimate breakthrough energy science by the vocal minority.


The most compelling reasons for drafting a new 21st Century Energy Strategy:

1) The predicted consequences of our present greenhouse forcing. In 1999, a Global Warming International Center (GWIC) News Flash stated that current man-made greenhouse forcing of the atmosphere has been measured to be 2.4 – 4.3 W/m2. "A change of 7.5 to 10 W/m2 will completely alter seasonal characteristics, e.g. from winter to spring." The report concluded: "The man-made alteration of energy balance in the General Circulation system determines how chaotic our atmospheric and oceanic systems will be...simple thermodynamics predicts an OSCILLATORY NATURE of the change in climate in any one ecological zone due to global warming. Global warming causes ‘extreme events’ and bad weather in the near term. In the long term it may cause the earth to transition to another equilibrium state through many ‘oscillations in climatic patterns.’ The magnitude of these oscillations could easily ‘exceed’ the difference between the end points."From chaos theory, the end points are where we start and where we end up. In other words, as the earth climate seeks a new equilibrium point, with the forcing function of increased energy input, it may get much hotter AND alternately much colder with a vengeance as the climate goes haywire for an undetermined amount of time. Is there a chance that our planet will reach the range that starts altering seasonal characteristics? The Institute for Policy Study has reported that the World Bank alone is responsible for doubling the world’s output of carbon during the lifespan of its overseas investments in fossil fuel generators. The World Bank has thus propelled us toward 4.8 – 8.6 W/m2 of greenhouse forcing sooner than we expect.

2) Global warming is harmful to health. "Computer models have predicted that global warming would produce several changes in the highlands: summit glaciers (like North Pole sea ice) would begin to melt, and plants, mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases would migrate upward into regions formerly too cold for them. All these predictions are coming true." Dr. Epstein, Associate Director at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, further reports that the West Nile virus, spread by mosquitoes, broke out for the first time in North America just last year. He concludes that, "Cleaner energy sources must be put to use QUICKLY AND BROADLY, both in the energy-guzzling industrial world and in developing nations, which cannot be expected to cut back on their energy use...The world’s leaders, if they are wise, will make it their business to find a way to pay for these solutions."

3) The inadequacy of the Kyoto Protocol to address the magnitude of the climate problem. "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by the United Nations, calculates that halting the ongoing rise in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will require a whopping 60% to 70% reduction in emissions." They are not the only agency arriving at that conclusion. The Worldwatch Institute also states that "stabilizing atmospheric CO2 at safe levels will require a 60-80% cut in carbon emissions from current levels."

4) World production of oil is expected to peak by 2010 and then begin to decline. "The implications of this on industry, world politics, and economics seems to me to be enormous," says Colin Campbell, exploration geologist for Petroconsultants in Geneva. An issue neglected by the media, the inevitable decline of oil availability will, of course, forcibly reduce production. If we think about the fact that the U.S. energy demand grows at a rate of 1.1% per year, from 95 to 121 quadrillion Btus (quads) by 2020, we must ask where will the EXTRA 27% come from?

  • Transportation is rated by the U.S. Department of Energy to be the most rapidly growing sector. However, as domestic crude oil production is projected to DECLINE from 6.3 to 5.3 million barrels per day by 2020, we gas-guzzling Americans naively believe that we can demand FROM SOMEWHERE a 25% increase from a total U.S. consumption of 20 million barrels of oil per day now to a projected 25 million barrels of oil per day by 2020! However, with 50% of our imported oil coming from OPEC, we need to face the fact that, "Saudi Arabia is the only OPEC nation with the capability to boost oil production significantly, a move that would harm the finances of other member nations..." Therefore, it is very unlikely that OPEC will cooperate with U.S. and European demands to increase production when they know the oil is running out.

    5) The government’s slowness in replacing energy sources and prevention of "outside-the-box" energy inventions from gaining recognition. In 1999, year-old plans for an IRI-sponsored Conference on Future Energy (COFE) at the U.S. State Department’s Open Forum, an agency that is, according to Science magazine, "bereft of technology," met with deliberate sabotage by the former State Dept. Science Policy Advisor, Peter Zimmerman, a month before the event. Immediately afterwards, the already standing offer for a DOE hosting of COFE also fell through with the verbal message, "none of your scientists will be allowed in the door." The last effort to tentatively engage the Dept. of Commerce auditorium also was vigorously rejected, thanks to the American Physical Society’s Robert Park, undermining the acceptability of the event. COFE was forced to take place in a nearby hotel. Back at the State Dept., Undersecretary Frank Loy was invited to fill the time slot vacated by COFE in order to debate global warming, talking about the problem without suggesting any solutions. Ironically, a year later, Greenpeace gave him a pie in the face for the same attitude: do-nothing "carbon sinks" without any U.S. solutions to global warming at the Hague international climate meeting, November, 2000.

    To give an overview of the DOE CNES and the nation’s intent, our consumption and production have glaring problems that signal pending conflict in the near future: Unprepared as the U.S. is for the consequences of the declining petroleum production curve vs. the ever-increasing petroleum consumption curve, it can only spell disaster as more and more nations reflect the same voracious appetite for the black liquid of doom. When the pressure of oil demands start taxing OPEC’s ability or willingness to cooperate, cutbacks are inevitable. Then, a war over oil probably will not solve anything. Instead, we must pioneer new clean energy sources while our economy is healthy, that tap zero point energy, atmospheric electricity, chemical bond energy, and low energy nuclear reactions, to name a few, without including fire as a means for producing propulsion or heat. Carbon-free emissions and fuel-less energy has to be our destiny.

    It is clear that this is a necessity for the nation’s survival and probably the world’s survival. Perhaps a symbolic story will bring the problem into a moral perspective. From my training with the Analytical Psychology Society of Western New York for ten years, I offer a possible Jungian analysis of "burning fossil fuel for energy": The myth of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods caused him a slow, agonizing death, tied to a rock near an ocean, with birds picking at his body. Looking at the imagery as an archetypal psychologist, it could be interpreted to mean that egocentric overusing of only one of nature’s energy quaternary (fire) without the complimentary opposite (water) to balance its use (mostly unconscious in this case), causes a degradation of the secondary functions, body (earth) and its compliment or opposite (air). The single-minded use of fire contributes to the hero’s isolation and separation from nature in the end. This myth seems to indicate that we should look in the direction of water at first, to immediately balance the overuse. Also, the interpretation suggests that water may be an equally powerful source of energy, as cold fusion, cold fog, and hydrogen-producing electrolysis experiments have already shown. However, the investigation of the other two parts of the quaternary should also prove to be fruitful for energy production, from this analysis. In analytical psychology as well as in quantum mechanics, the use of only one opposite exclusively while denying the complimentary duality causes nature to frustrate the ego (scientist). Check the quantum physics textbooks for "uncertainty principle" that deny ultimate precision to the "experimenter." Unconscious compensation and detrimental effects often appear from choosing only one of a pair of opposites, says Dr. Carl Jung.

    There is one other aspect to our sociological addiction to oil. An uncompromising archetypal analysis of the black liquid essence suggests images of digging up graves of ancestors, feeding off of carrion, sucking up the earth’s dead through tubes, releasing a Pandora’s Box of ancient carbon that is no longer permanently sequestered as nature intended. These disturbing images seem to be what constitutes the true essence, in a symbolic sense, of our nation’s umbilical-cord addiction to 20 million barrels of liquid death per day. It may produce fire but the rest of the duality and quaternary are haunting and gradually torturing our body right now. In less than one hundred years, we have become strangled by our own black umbilical cord and it will be very difficult to extricate ourselves from its grip. Death only begets death. It is time to start using only living energy from now on: life begets life.

    What follows in this follow-up evaluation is an in-depth analysis of each Strategy associated with the Objectives under each Goal. The Strategies are the main focus of the evaluation to determine if they are realistic and still viable two years later. Details are included as to how the DOE "spends its energy" with each Strategy. Specific alternative energy technology suggestions are added where appropriate and the difference projected with the alternative implemented. A Summary of the success or failure of each Goal is placed at the end of each Chapter to give an overall assessment of the CNES Goals. The overview of the CNES "at a glance" is included on the next page for reference purposes. Each Chapter then contains the specific Goal with Objectives and Strategies, often abbreviated as "G1,O2,S3" to indicate Goal 1, Objective 2, Strategy 3 as an example. Below is the most updated breakdown for the nation’s energy consumption. Note that the total 99.22 quads so that the values may approximate percentage values as well. The dark colors represent about 85% of our present energy usage that contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

    Thomas Valone, M.A., P.E.

    Retired college physics professor Licensed professional engineer President, Integrity Research Institute


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    *1 quad = 1 quadrillion Btu = 1015 Btu = 1018 joules = 1011kWh