Former U.S. Security Adviser Jones Helping Lead Energy Project

March 30 (Bloomberg) -- James Jones, President Barack Obama’s former national security adviser, will help lead a new project focused on making the U.S. more energy-independent, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.

William Reilly, co-chairman of Obama’s panel investigating BP Plc’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and former Senators Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, and Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, will head the initiative with Jones, a retired Marine Corps general, the Washington-based center said in an e-mailed statement released today.

Energy security has gained fresh attention with the BP spill last year, the current turmoil in oil-producing countries such as Libya and the struggle to control nuclear-power reactors in Japan after an earthquake and tsunami. Obama plans to deliver a speech on the subject later today.

“Recent events, from unprecedented unrest in the Middle East and North Africa to the Japanese nuclear crisis to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, demand a thorough reassessment of America’s energy security,” the four leaders of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s initiative said in the statement.

The center is a nonprofit policy research group formed in 2007 by former Senate majority leaders including Howard Baker, a Tennessee Republican, and Bob Dole, a Kansas Republican.

The initiative will seek to outline national goals aimed at tapping more domestic sources of energy and making the U.S. less vulnerable to global crises that may affect energy supplies and prices, according to the center.

The group will provide more details when the project formally begins on April 12, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Chipman in Washington at kchipman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net