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Hide Section - GENERAL INFORMATION

GENERAL INFORMATION

Committee NameMethane Hydrate Advisory CommitteeAgency NameDepartment of Energy
Fiscal Year2018Committee Number10671
Original Establishment Date5/2/2000Committee StatusChartered
Actual Termination Date Committee URLhttp://energy.gov/fe/services/advisory-committe...
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYNoMax Number of Members*15
Current Charter Date10/20/2017Designated Fed Officer Position Title*Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas
Date Of Renewal Charter10/20/2019Designated Federal Officer PrefixMr.
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Shawn
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle Name
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Bennett
Establishment Authority*Statutory (Congress Created)Designated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*P.L. 106-193 and 109-58Designated Federal Officer Phone*(202) 586-5600
Effective Date Of Authority*5/2/2000Designated Federal Officer Fax*202-586-6221
Committee Type*ContinuingDesignated Federal Officer Email*shawn.bennett@hq.doe.gov
Presidential*No
Committee Function*Scientific Technical Program Advisory Board
Hide Section - RECOMMENDATION/JUSTIFICATIONS

RECOMMENDATION/JUSTIFICATIONS

Agency Recommendation*Continue
Legislation to Terminate RequiredNo
Legislation StatusNot Applicable
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*The committee meets at least every two years to review the Department of Energy program and the state of the art in hydrates research, and to make recommendations for future research directions. In June 2007, the Committee issued “Report of the Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee on An Assessment of the Methane Hydrate Research Program and An Assessment of the 5-Year Research Plan of the Department of Energy”. This report had the following findings: 1. The goals of the Methane Hydrate R&D Act are important to the Nation and should be pursued; 2. Meeting these goals will require vigorous support from the Federal government; 3. An integrated interagency methane hydrate research plan has been developed for both the near- and long-term that the Committee fully endorses the plan and believes it to be achievable, if sufficient funding is provided; 4. Program planning and management has actively addressed the assessment concerns of the National Research Council and others; and, most importantly, 5. Current funding levels for the program are not sufficient to achieve the stated goals. The January 2010 meeting included review of the NRC Report on Realizing the Energy Potential of Methane Hydrate for the United States, and review of major active projects. The July 2012 meeting resulted in the re-prioritization of the goals of the Program. Committee recommendations were provided to the Secretary in 2013, 2014, and 2017. Committee representatives met with the Under Secretary in April 2015. The Committee met three times in FY 2017 and once in FY 2018. In addition committee representatives met with the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy in January 2018.
How is membership balanced?*Recommendations for new panel members are invited from the methane hydrate research community in industry, academia and other government agencies. Recommendations are proposed by DOE based on expertise and geographic, institutional and gender/ethnic diversity. The Secretary of Energy appoints the new panel. The current committee membership continues to be geographically distributed and represents industrial enterprises, institutions of higher education, oceanographic institutions, and state agencies as required by P.L. 109-58. Representatives of other government agencies are not included in the methane hydrate advisory committee because a separate interagency coordinating committee assures that DOE receives information and advice from other government agencies that are involved in hydrate research.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*The committee is required by P.L. 109-58 to meet biennially. The committee primarily advises DOE on long-term research directions on a future energy resource,a subject that does not change rapidly. Therefore biennial review is appropriate but meetings may occur as frequently as needed and approved by the DFO. Input from the committee is important in guiding future research directions for this novel energy resource. The committee did not meet in FY 2011 due to the funding constraints of the Continuing Resolution. The committee met twice in FY 2012, FY 2013, and FY 2014; and met once in FY 2015 in addition to its meeting with the Under Secretary. The Committee did not meet in FY 2016, but met on three occasions in FY 2017 and once in FY 2018 in addition to its meeting with the Assistant Secretary.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*Methane Hydrates are methane-bearing, ice-like materials that occur in abundance in marine and Arctic sediments and store immense amounts of methane natural gas. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the volume of methane contained in hydrates is several hundred times the estimated conventional natural gas resource in the U.S. Methane from hydrates offers the potential for clean, abundant energy after 2030, when conventional natural gas resources are expected to be declining. However, much multi-disciplinary research and development is necessary to turn this potential resource into gas reserves. Hydrates also merit study because of their occurrence in areas of conventional oil and gas production and transport, where sediment mass movement and methane release could be a hazard. Because of the large volume of carbon resident in hydrates and the complex interactions of methanogenic processes and hydrocarbon seepage to hydrates, their study is also significant to global carbon cycle modeling.Because this program, initiated in 1997, is investigating a novel, little understood resource, it is difficult to focus limited funds on only the most important topics to achieve the DOE goals. Outside advice is valuable in delimiting the critical research paths. Furthermore, The Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-193) stipulated that the Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee be formed to advise the Secretary of Energy on potential applications of methane hydrate; assist in developing recommendations and priorities for the methane hydrate research and development program defined in the Act; and submit to Congress one or more reports on the anticipated impact on global climate change from methane hydrate formation. The committee has consistenly advised that DOE expand its research effort and funding. However, budget contraints have not allowed this.
Why close or partially close meetings?This committee has not had and does not anticipate any closed meetings.
Recommendation RemarksAnnual appropriations continue to be provided to the Methane Hydrate research program that this committee advises.
Hide Section - PERFORMANCE MEASURES

PERFORMANCE MEASURES

Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*YesAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentNoAction Reallocate ResourcesYes
Outcome Major Policy ChangesNoAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchYesAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingNoAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsNo
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryNoAction OtherNo
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionNoAction CommentNot Applicable
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsNoGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentNANumber Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*Unable to DetermineDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentThe committee advises on future R&D directions, which will not have direct economic benefits for approximately 15 years.Grants Review CommentN/A
Number Of Recommendations*58Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentThe committee has recommended areas for increased focus and has regularly recommended changes in the DOE multi-year and other implementation plans. There were numerous recommendations made in the 2007 committee report to Congress, An Assessment of the Methane Hydrate Research Program and An Assessment of the 5-Year Research Plan of the Department of Energy. In the January 2010 meeting, the committee endorsed the key recommendations of the 2010 NRC Report on Realizing the Energy Potential of Methane Hydrate for the United States. In March 2010, the committee agreed to send a letter to the Secretary of Energy opposing the transfer of the DOE Methane Hydrate Program to the Office of Science. In August 2012, the committee sent a letter to the Secretary containing four recommendations as to the activities the hydrate research should pursue. In May 2014, the committee sent a letter to the Secretary containing four recommendations as to the activities the hydrate research should pursue. In April 2015 several members of the Committee met with the Under Secretary to discuss the four 2014 recommendations. This meeting did not result in any changes to the number of recommendations that had been fully or partially implemented at the end of FY 2014. No new recommendations were made by the Committee during FY 2015 or FY 2016. In April 2017, the committee sent a letter to the Secretary containing five recommendations as to the activities the hydrate research should pursue; all of which are being pursued to some extent. In Fy18 the committee provided recommendations to the Secretary regarding regulatory reform; those recommendations are being considered.Access Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*75.00%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentCongressional funding is below authorized levels. Therefore recomemndations to increase funding can not be implemented. DOE supports all the recommendations of the 2010 NRC Report if adequate funding is provided by Congress. Two recommendations made in the August 2012 letter to the Secretary were implemented through projects funded by the 2012 FOA for the Methane Hydrate Program. The four Committee recommendations made in FY 2014 were partially implemented as funding was insufficient to fully implement. The Administration requested zero funding for the Methane Hydrate Program in FY 2016; however, Congress provided an $19.8 million appropriation. Congress also provided $19.8 million in FY17 and FY18. Of the five Committee recommendations made in FY 2017, three remain partially implemented as funding is either insufficient to fully implement or pertain to long-term projects that require multi-year implantation.Access GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*25.00%Access PublicationsNo
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentCongress has provided some funding, although less than recommended and authorized levels; therefore all of the recommendations cannot be implemented simultaneously. In addition, many recommendations are for longer term work that cannot be fully implemented immediately even if the Program received the amount of funding that the Committee recommends necessary to carry-out the Program.Access OtherNo
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentN/A
Agency Feedback CommentAt committee meetings, the Agency reports on implementation of committee recommendations. DOE's Under Secretary provided feedback to the Committee's 2014 recommendations through a meeting with Committee representatives in April 2015. The representatives reported back to the full Committee in the May 2015 meeting. The Secretary directed the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy to meet with representatives of the Committee to discuss its April 2017 recommendations; that meeting took place in January 2018. Budget realities and competing priorities make it unlikely that the funding proposed by the committee will be made available.Narrative Description*The committee, by strengthening the quality of methane hydrate research, increases the probability of success of development of this new energy resource. This supports DOE's strategic goal to catalyze the timely, material, and efficient transformation of the nation’senergy system and secure U.S. leadership in clean energy technologies.
Hide Section - COSTS

COSTS

Payments to Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Members*$0.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$13,615.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$15,000.00
Payments to Consultants*$0.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$8,080.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$13,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$5,235.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$6,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$3,536.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$6,000.00
Total Costs$30,466.00Est. Total Next FY*$40,000.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*0.15Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*0.15
Hide Section - MEMBERS,MEETINGS AND ADVISORY REPORTS

MEMBERS,MEETINGS AND ADVISORY REPORTS

To View all the members, meetings and advisory reports for this committee please click here
Hide Section - CHARTERS AND RELATED DOCS

CHARTERS AND RELATED DOCS

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Hide Section - DATA FROM PREVIOUS YEARS

DATA FROM PREVIOUS YEARS

Committee

Data from Previous Years

  
ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-001441Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2017
 COM-002844Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2016
 COM-003584Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2015
 COM-004929Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2014
 COM-005706Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2013
 COM-007105Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2012
 COM-007708Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2011
 COM-009257Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2010
 COM-009795Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2009
 COM-011145Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2008
 COM-011735Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2007
 COM-013039Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2006
 COM-013603Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2005
 COM-014919Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2004
 COM-015527Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2003
 COM-016981Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2002
 COM-017403Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee2001