CREATE Takes on Energy Security

CREATE Takes on Energy Security 

Energy Security is the connection between energy markets and national security in the production, transmission and use of energy. Resilience is broadly defined as the ability to absorb shock and to rebound quickly.

These two key topics are the impetus for a meeting of the Energy Sector Task Force of the Center for National Policy’s (CNP) Infrastructure Resilience Project at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) on April 26, 2011. The session was part of a national project, with meetings being held this spring in New York City, Houston, and Washington, DC. 

The objective of the Task Force is to produce recommendations on how the United States can develop a resilient domestic infrastructure, from both the standpoint of suppliers and customers, in the face of increased energy security threats overseas and domestically. This Project will culminate in a Final Task Force Report that will be presented to the highest levels of the U.S. Government in the summer of 2011. 

The Task Force is made up of subject matter experts from academia, government and industry and led by CNP President, Stephen Flynn, a member of the bipartisan National Security Preparedness Group, co-chaired by former 9/11 commissioners.

Adam Rose, Research Professor at USC and Coordinator for Economics at CREATE, is the key CREATE contributor to this project, with considerable experience in economic consequence analysis of disasters, economic resilience, and energy economics. Dr. Rose said, “The Energy Sector Task Force recommendations will strengthen the resiliency of our nation’s domestic infrastructure in the face of increased energy security threats. These threats emanate from several sources including international and domestic terrorism, natural and technological disasters, geopolitics, and economic crises. We can reduce economic losses by enhancing the resilience of both sides of energy markets. This means protecting our critical assets, making greater use of domestic resources (including renewables) and ensuring continuity of supply, while also pursuing energy efficiency improvements and other demand-side strategies."

With the emergence of new domestic resources and technologies, the United States now finds itself with the potential for a sustained increased level of energy independence and resilience. In defining policy recommendations and requirements for infrastructure resilience in the U.S. energy sector, the Task Force will consider critical issues in three key areas: capacity, sustainability and security. 

U.S. domestic energy exploration, production, transportation, and end-use policy has often been framed as a balance between market considerations and environmental concerns. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the issue of security has been increasingly added to that mix. This study will concurrently evaluate the security requirements that are closely intertwined with these two considerations and define policies that appropriately address all three. Although the objective of the Task Force is to form recommendations for the U.S. Administration and its relevant lead departments, the study is focused on defining policies that will facilitate sector-based (both producers and consumers along the supply chain) solutions. It is envisioned that some of these recommendations will have international applicability and may be implemented on a global basis.

The study will focus attention on policies and capabilities across the following key areas:

• Offshore drilling 
• Hydraulic fracturing 
• Oil imports (shipping)
• Pipeline (oil & gas)
• Refining 
Intermediate and End-Use:
• Industrial and Commercial
• Electric Utility
• Transportation
• Residential