Communication regarding DOE Grid Study

Matt Kasper filed this request with the Department of Energy Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the United States of America.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Matt Kasper

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

All internal and external electronic communications to/from the following LBNL employees: Lab Director M.S. Witherell; Chief of Staff M.K. Dick; Deputy Director H.D. Simon.

The search terms for this request are: “Study Examining Electricity Markets and Reliability”; “mandates”; “renewable”; “subsidies”; “capacity markets”; “baseload power”; “reliability”; “credits”; “efficiency”; “wind”; “solar”; “nuclear”; “electricity markets”; “on-site fuel supply”; “grid resilience”; “regulatory burdens”; “retirement”.

The timeframe of this request is limited to April 10, 2017 and the processing date of this request.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. It is in the public's interest to know the Department of Energy's role regarding the Memorandum to the Chief of Staff, from Secretary of Energy Perry titled, "Study Examining Electricity Markets and Reliability." Significant amount of press coverage has occurred regarding the memorandum, including articles from the Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/04/18/rick-perry-asked-for-a-boring-wonky-study-of-the-grid-even-that-was-controversial/?utm_term=.7df3701c530a) and Bloomberg Politics (https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-04-15/electric-grid-study-ordered-by-u-s-energy-chief-to-boost-coal).

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

However, I am requesting a fee waiver. The organization I work for, the Energy and Policy Institute, is a clearinghouse of information and can qualify as a representative of the news media. There are several examples of public record requests that have been provided to my organization and that were then published on our website to inform journalists publishing articles. Also, I have accounts with news outlets including Huffington Post and Republic Report. Past publications on these outlets as proof are available here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/matt-kasper) and (https://www.republicreport.org/author/matthew/). Additionally, previously FOIAs from the Energy and Policy Institute have been categorized under Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1004.9(b)(3) as a "news media" requester.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Matt Kasper

From: McKown, Michelle

Dear Mr. Kaspar:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your subject Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted to this office for processing. In your request, you are seeking:
"All internal and external electronic communications to/from the following LBNL employees:
Lab Director M.S. Witherell; Chief of Staff M.K. Dick; Deputy Director H.D. Simon.
The search terms for this request are: "Study Examining Electricity Markets and Reliability";
"mandates"; "renewable"; "subsidies"; "capacity markets"; "baseload power"; "reliability";
"credits"; "efficiency"; "wind"; "solar"; "nuclear"; "electricity markets"; "on-site fuel
supply"; "grid resilience"; "regulatory burdens"; "retirement".
The timeframe of this request is limited to April 10, 2017 and the processing date of this
request."

In accordance with 10 CFR §§ 1004.2(m) and 1004.9(b)(3), you are categorized as a "News Media" requester and will be assessed charges only for reproducing responsive documents, excluding charges for the first 100 pages. We will inform you of any charges regarding reproduction before they are incurred, although none are anticipated as any responsive documents should be in electronic form.

However, before we can commence processing of your request, we need clarification of the request. Some of the terms you are requesting to be searched are very broad and could bring up what we think are irrelevant documents, such as communications regarding "retirement" parties. We will have to search through all of these and it will take longer to process the request. Would you be willing to limit the search to a topical area, such as only communications regarding "electricity markets and reliability"? Please respond to my inquiry that you agree to limit the search to that topical area, or please propose another. Until then, we are putting your request on hold for clarification.

If you have any questions during the processing of your request, please contact me at 630-252-5057, or via e-mail at michelle.mckown@science.doe.gov<mailto:michelle.mckown@science.doe.gov>.

Thank you.

Michelle R. McKown
Attorney Advisor
US Department of Energy
Office of Science-Integrated Support Center
9800 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, IL 60439
Phone: 630-252-5057

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We pledge to respect and value our partners and customers, communicate responsively and professionally, and build our reputation for delivering excellent professional services with each task performed.

From: Matt Kasper

Hi Michelle,
I'm sorry for the delay. Yes, I am willing to limit the search to "electricity markets and reliability."

Thank you,
Matt

From: Bartos, Miriam

Hello Mr. Kaspar,

Attached is our response to your subject FOIA request. If you have questions regarding this response, please reply to this e-mail or call me at my phone number below. Thank you.

Mimi Bartos

Miriam R. Bartos
FOIA/Privacy Act Officer
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Science - Integrated Support Center
Office of Chief Counsel
9800 S. Cass Ave., Bldg. 201
Argonne, IL 60439
(630)252-2041
E-mail: Miriam.Bartos@science.doe.gov

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This communication may be confidential and/or privileged and is meant only for the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender ASAP and delete this message from your system.

Our Service Excellence Pledge:
We pledge to respect and value our partners and customers, communicate responsively and professionally, and build our reputation for delivering excellent professional services with each task performed.

From: Matt Kasper

Hi Mimi,
Thank you very much.

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