Assistant Secretary Patricia Hoffman appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on April 26, 2012 to speak about the Department of Energy's role in managing weather related electrical outages.
DOE plays a vital role, in coordination with other Federal agencies and industry, to prepare for and recover from such electric power outages. As the Sector specific Agency for Energy, under the Department of Homeland Security's National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), the DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability is responsible for collaborating with Federal, State and local governments, and the private sector to protect against and mitigate threats on the energy infrastructure, be they natural disasters, deliberate attacks, or human error. OE performs the functions required under DOE's authorities and Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) - 8, National Preparedness, which is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. In addition, DOE is the lead agency for the National Response Framework's Emergency Support Function 12 (ESF-12), Energy, when activated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
The complete statement is available for download.