The resilience of the U.S. electric grid in the face of threats from cyber and physical attacks, not to mention natural disasters, continues to stir up concerns in Washington, D.C. and across the country. Among the questions is how big of a role the government should play in responding to these risks.
In this edition of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, host Bill Loveless interviews Bruce Walker, the assistant secretary for electricity at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), whose office is responsible for developing electricity policy, including that pertaining to the reliability and resilience of the grid.
Bill met Bruce at DOE headquarters to talk about the Trump Administration’s rationale in addressing the grid’s ability to recover from a disaster, and how its approach differs from past policies. Among other topics, they discuss: steps DOE has already taken on behalf of grid resilience, including a new office to better respond to cyber, physical and natural threats to electric infrastructure; lessons learned from the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico; and a recent Administration memo reported in the press that lays out a plan some view as unnecessary support for coal and nuclear plants.