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October 2019
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Cyber Security Awareness Month
Cyber Security Awareness Month
Highlighting Industry Efforts to Safeguard the Energy Grid
Each October, the nation observes Cyber Security Awareness Month, but, all year long, electric companies work to advance their "defense-in-depth" approach to protecting the energy grid against all threats and to develop even greater cyber and physical security protections for America's critical energy infrastructure. Protecting the nation’s energy grid and ensuring a reliable supply of energy are top priorities for America’s electric companies.

The electric power industry's security posture is built upon:
  • rigorous, mandatory, and enforceable reliability regulations; 
  • close coordination among industry and with government partners at all levels; and 
  • efforts to prepare, respond, and recover should an incident impact the energy grid. 
Today, the electric power industry is forging ahead with a series of initiatives to safeguard the energy grid from threats and is partnering with federal agencies to improve sector-wide resilience to cyber and physical threats. As threats to the grid grow and become more sophisticated, the industry remains committed to continuing to strengthen its defenses. Learn more on EEI's website and in our factsheet. Read about the electric power industry's broader national security initiatives in EEI's booklet​.

Powerful Partnerships
Powerful Partnerships
Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council Advances Grid Security

​The electric power industry has forged a strong partnership with the federal government through the CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council​ (ESCC). This partnership greatly enhances the ability of electric companies and federal agencies to work together to enhance sector-wide resilience to cyber and physical security threats. 

The ESCC, which includes electric company CEOs and trade association leaders representing all segments of the electric power industry, serves as the principal liaison between the federal government and the electric power sector to coordinate efforts to prepare for, and respond to, national-level disasters or threats to critical infrastructure. 

Among the initiatives the ESCC has created to advance the industry's security posture are:

  • Cyber Incident Response​—The ESCC has developed the first-of-its-kind Cyber Mutual Assistance (CMA) program to help electric and natural gas companies, public power utilities, and electric cooperatives restore critical computer systems following significant cyber incidents. Modeled after the industry's traditional mutual assistance program, the CMA program now includes more than 155 entities across all segments of the industry, serving more than 75 percent of all U.S. electricity and natural gas customers. The ESCC also is working with senior government officials on a unified cyber incident response strategy.
  • Cybersecurity Information Sharing—The industry is working closely with the Department of Energy (DOE) and other stakeholders on public-private partnerships to help organizations assess and strengthen their cybersecurity capabilities and to facilitate timely bi-directional sharing of actionable unclassified and classified threat information using advanced collection, analysis, and dissemination tools that identify threat patterns and trends.
  • R&D Alignment—The ESCC collaborates with the federal ​government, the national labs, and the investment community to discuss the latest grid security and resilience research and to align R&D needs and priorities. 
  • Cross-Sector Coordination—In 2016, the ESCC appointed CEOs to serve as liaisons to the communications, downstream natural gas, financial services, transportation, and water/wastewater sectors, and they are helping create important partnerships with these critical infrastructure sectors. 
  • State Coordination—The ESCC is working with state and federal government stakeholders to discuss how the industry, state officials, federal partners, and regulators can align resources and priorities, unify their message, and enhance overall awareness of incident management and resilience planning. 
  • ESCC Playbook—The ESCC developed a playbook that provides senior industry and government executives with a framework to coordinate response and recovery efforts and communication with the public during major incidents. The playbook is updated annually and is tested in a series of exercises and real-world events.
  • Incident Response Messaging—The ESCC’s public affairs initiative enhances how industry and government communicators prepare for emergencies affecting the energy grid. Senior government public affairs officials and industry communications executives meet each year to discuss how they share information and coordinate messaging during a major incident. The group developed a communications annex to the ESCC playbook, which includes lessons learned from recent hurricane response operations to help guide industry-government message coordination.
  • Preparedness Exercises—Each year, the ESCC participates in a variety of exercises to test and update its coordination and messaging protocols. These include regional events, DOE’s Clear Path exercise series, FEMA’s National Level Exercises, and industry-wide national exercises that test the response to catastrophic incidents. The most significant national exercise, the GridEx series sponsored every two years by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, includes hundreds of organizations and thousands of participants from industry, government, and international partners who examine the response to widespread outages caused by coordinated cyber and physical attacks. 


Delivering Innovation
Delivering Innovation
Electric Companies' Investments Safeguard the Energy Grid for Customers

Smarter energy infrastructure is key to giving customers the energy solutions they want—and it also is vital to the industry's strategic security and resiliency efforts. In 2018, EEI's member companies invested a projected $60.3 billion to enhance the energy grid and to further support grid security efforts, part of the more than $100 billion our member companies invest each year to make the energy grid smarter, stronger, cleaner, more dynamic, and more secure; to diversify the nation's energy mix; and to integrate new technologies that benefit customers. 

EEI and our member companies constantly are working to improve grid security, reliability, and resiliency, and we will continue to strengthen cyber and physical defenses and to elevate preparedness. 

By delivering the reliable, affordable, secure, and clean energy their customers need, electric companies are playing a vital role in our national security and creating value for every customer and every community in America. Continuing to deliver this extraordinary value requires ongoing, substantial investment, and the electric power industry is America's most capital-intensive industry. As a whole, our industry supports more than 7 million American jobs and contributes $865 billion to the U.S. economy—5 percent of the nation's total GDP.

To see examples of how electric companies' investments are creating the smart, strong, sustainable energy future that customers want and expect, visit EEI's Delivering the Future​ website. For more information about the electric power industry's investments and finances, visit EEI's financial data webpage.​​

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Dominion Energy's Bob Blue on Harnessing Innovation to Improve Grid Security

​“Over the past several years, the CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) has helped strengthen and protect the energy grid by bringing industry and government together on a number of critical security initiatives,” writes Bob Blue, executive vice president of Dominion Energy, and president and CEO of Dominion’s Power Delivery Group, in Electric Perspectives. Blue also serves as a member of the ESCC. 

“One particularly significant focus is research and development (R&D). Aligning the expertise and capabilities of both industry and government, the ESCC’s R&D Committee has harnessed innovation to improve grid security.”

Read more.

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News From the Hill
News From the Hill
Advancing Electric Transportation Enhances Our National Security

​Electricity is a domestically produced transportation fuel that is transforming our nation’s transportation sector. As of August 2019, there are more than 1.3 million electric vehicles (EVs) on U.S. roads. Still, this is a small percentage of the more than 270 million vehicles registered in the United States. Using existing technology and our energy grid infrastructure, we can diversify the transportation fuel mix to move both people and goods. This will usher in an era of clean transportation, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and enhance the energy and economic security of the United States.

EVs present a significant opportunity to improve U.S. energy security by reducing our vulnerability to oil price spikes and international volatility. Today, the United States is the world’s largest oil consumer. The U.S. transportation sector depends on oil for 92 percent of its fuel, consuming 70 percent of the nation’s total oil usage. Reducing this dependence will advance America's national security and energy security.

EVs offer an affordable alternative to gasoline. Domestically produced electricity, on average, can power plug-in EVs at the equivalent of $1.21 per gallon of gasoline. Electricity prices are insulated from the global volatility that impacts gasoline prices, and cutting domestic oil consumption will help the United States maintain global competitiveness and protect national security.

For electric transportation to reach its full benefits, more EV sales are needed—and expanding the EV tax credit is crucial to this. Under current law, the $7,500 EV tax credit—created by Congress in 2008—begins to phase out once an automaker sells 200,000 qualifying EVs. Today, some automakers are approaching and exceeding this cap. The Driving America Forward Act (S.1094 and H.R. 2256) supports electric transportation by increasing the per-manufacturer cap on qualifying EVs by an additional 400,000 vehicles for all EV manufacturers. Expanding the EV tax credit will continue to spur growth and innovation in domestic manufacturing; enhance our nation’s energy security; and reduce emissions and improve local air quality.

Congress should act now to advance electric transportation by passing the Driving America Forward Act. Electric transportation is a win for our communities, the economy, the environment, and national security.

Read more in EEI’s electric transportation factsheet​ and EV tax credit factsheet​.


Fun Fact
Fun Fact
Electric Companies Changed the Sport of Baseball

Baseball fans had much to celebrate throughout the 2019 season and in the historic 2019 World Series—​but did you know that electric companies have shaped the game as we know it today?

On EEI's Delivering the Future website, discover how:

  • A 1935 game in Cincinnati became the first Major League Baseball game to be played at night​;
  • It wasn't until 1977 that the first World Series game was played at night; and
  • The history of nighttime baseball—illuminated by electricity—stretches back to 1880.

Sponsored Content
Cybersecurity: The Race to Protect the Grid

Cybersecurity is a critical issue for the entire U.S. energy industry. CyberCon Power & Utilities Conference gives you access to executive-level experts, strategies, technologies, and solutions to protect your company from cyber-attacks. Register today with promo code PUF200 and save $200. 


Save the Date
Save the Date
EPRI's Electrification 2020 Conference

​EEI is proud to be an official supporting organization of the Electric Power Research Institute's (EPRI's) Electrification 2020 International Conference and Exposition. The event will be held April 6-9, 2020, in Charlotte. The conference will bring together stakeholders across industry sectors for vital conversations on accelerating the use of electrification technologies, from transportation to industrial processes, smart home applications, and many more. 

Electrification 2020 will help to develop partnerships by connecting and sharing ideas with leaders from multiple industry segments. Learn more and register today​.

In Case You Missed It
In Case You Missed It
OG&E's Sean Trauschke on Building Sustainable Communities

​“As an industry, we must work with community, industry, and education partners to fill the pipeline of qualified candidates to meet our future workforce needs. We must be prepared to respond quickly to new technologies and changing customer expectations, while remaining focused on reliability, resiliency, affordability, and stewardship,” writes Sean Trauschke, chairman, president, and CEO of OGE Energy and OG&E, in Electric Perspectives. “That means caring not just for our own workforce, but for those of the partners we depend on.

“A rising tide floats all boats. OG&E is leading the charge to encourage the industry to build a strong, diverse pipeline of talent for which all employers can compete. As an industry, if we partner in the classroom, we can all compete on the field, providing a prime environment for future growth by developing the talent pool. That pool today includes college graduates, vocational and career graduates, former military members, and professionals from other industries.”

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