China announced on Tuesday an integration of its energy management supervision and policies, functions that are currently dispersed among many government agencies, through the establishment of a high-level consultation and coordination commission.
The commission, which is called the national energy commission, will be responsible for studying and drafting energy development strategy and considering energy security and development issues, Hua Jianmin, secretary-general of the State Council, said at the annual session of China's top legislature.
A national energy bureau under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) would be established as a standing body to undertake the new energy commission's day-to-day work, Hua said.
Energy-related institutions and functions belonging to the NDRC, the entire National Energy Leading Group (NELG), and the nuclear power management of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense would be integrated into the energy bureau, he said.
The bureau would draw up and implement energy industry programs, policies and standards, promote new and alternative forms of energy and encourage conservation, he said.
The bureau would be supervised by the NDRC to ensure the close coordination of energy management with national economic and social development programs and macro-control policies, he said.
The NELG and its executive organs will be disbanded, Hua said.
The restructuring plan is based on China's rapid economic expansion, growing energy demand, pressing desire for safe energy supply, and better energy management, said Feng Fei, director of the Industry Department of the Development Research Center of the State Council.
Energy strategy shall be put in a more important position, but the current energy management pattern cannot keep up with the changing situation, Feng said.
The integration of energy sector has been mulled by the central government in recent years. In 2007, the country's imports of crude oil hit 159.28 million tons, rising 14.7 year-on-year, contributing 46 percent to the total crude consumption.
(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2008)