The U.S. energy infrastructure is vulnerable to severe weather events and other natural disasters, systems failures, and deliberate physical, cyber, or unconventional attacks. State Energy Assurance Plans (EAPs) are meant to achieve a robust, secure, resilient and reliable energy infrastructure in the face of such events. EAPs allow state governments to restore services rapidly in the event of interruption or disaster. While the owners and operators are responsible for their energy systems in providing energy supplies, State and local officials are responsible for coordinating energy providers, government agencies, and stakeholders in the event of an outage. EAPs cover disruptions in transportation fuels, electricity and natural gas.

Stillwater Associates has researched state EAPs and has found that many of them have woefully inadequate transportation energy sections. The level of detail in each state’s plan varies widely, some do not cover transportation fuels at all. The transportation fuels section should at minimum ensure that critical service providers have the necessary fuels to maintain public order and safety. These services include health care, police and fire, sanitation, public transportation, aviation ground support to name a few.

Starting in 2009 through 2011, under the Stimulus (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), States were eligible to receive grants to develop or improve their EAPs.

Stillwater Associates recently worked with the State of Arizona and the State of Rhode Island to improve the transportation fuels section of their EAPs. These improvements include ready plans for better public information, prepared memorandums of agreement among Federal and State agencies, and a re-emphasis of cooperation between public and private sector stakeholders. Finally, there are improved plans for cities and towns with regard to transportation fuels and their essential vehicles.

If your state is in the process of developing or amending its EAP, contact Stillwater Associates. We’ll help develop the transportation energy strategy with you.