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Energy People: Adam Sieminski

We talked with Adam Sieminski, Administrator at the Energy Information Administration

Fortnightly Magazine - October 2016
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Adam Sieminski was sworn in on June 4, 2012, as the eighth administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, EIA. In the prior months, while awaiting confirmation as EIA administrator, Sieminski served as senior director for energy and environment on the staff of the National Security Council.

From 2005 until then, he was the chief energy economist for Deutsche Bank. From 1998 to 2005, he served as the director and energy strategist for Deutsche Bank’s global oil and gas equity team. Previously, Sieminski was the senior energy analyst for NatWest Securities in the U.S., covering the major U.S. international integrated oil companies.

PUF’s Pat McMurray: What does the Energy Information Administration do?

Adam Sieminski: Our mission is to count and report on energy related issues. We count and report on how much electricity is produced. We also report on how many barrels of oil are produced, or imported or exported. Then we do the same with natural gas, nuclear, coal, and across the board renewables of all types, most of which end up as electricity.

By law, no other person in the federal government can review EIA’s reports. The buck stops with the administrator at EIA.

Our analyses and projections are not approved by any other federal government official, not the Secretary of Energy even. Or anybody at the White House or anybody on the Congressional committees.

That independence is something that we treasure a lot. We work very hard to keep that, by making sure that our reports are as unbiased as they can be.

We don’t favor any particular point of view or fuel. We are reporting the facts and making projections on the basis of reasonable sets of assumptions.

Pat McMurray: For the U.S. only?

Adam Sieminski: Our main mission is to provide data about the U.S. We provide the Annual Energy Outlook. But we also provide the International Energy Outlook.

The Outlooks, which we do every year, are designed to look at not just the history of statistics, but we also try to look forward twenty-five years out to the year 2040. Next year when we do the International Energy Outlook, it’s going to go to the year 2050.

In the Outlooks, we consider what can happen under conditions of existing law and regulation, and make estimates of what is going to happen with the economy and prices. It’s a picture of what the world of energy looks like, or could look like. Then we test that against different scenarios.

What does it look like if energy prices are higher or lower? What does it look like if the economy grows faster or slower? What does it look like if there are more rules on carbon emissions, for example?

Pat McMurray: What brought you to EIA?

Adam Sieminski: I have been an energy analyst since 1971. I became a big user of EIA’s data after EIA was created in the period after the oil embargo, 1977. I’ve been a power user of

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