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BCSE In Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2021

Contact: Julia Selker
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State Energy Officials, Emergency Management Group, and Clean Energy Companies Call for DOE Coordination on Resilience

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) sent a letter regarding resilience and disaster preparedness to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

The letter requests that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies to support energy system resilience investments, while providing technical assistance to states and tapping private sector expertise. Local resilience investments are enabled by the 2018 Disaster Recovery and Reform Act (DRRA) which created the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. Up to six percent of funds used in congressional special disaster appropriations can be added to BRIC and distributed to states for resilience projects.

“The BRIC program funding is expected to reach between $500 million and $3 billion every year, depending on the severity of natural disasters,” said David Terry, Executive Director of NASEO. “Climate change is leading to more frequent and intense natural disasters, and states can target and leverage these federal funds with private sector resources for such priority resilience actions as strengthening the grid and other energy systems, upgrading energy efficiency and on-site power at mission critical facilities, ensuring equity is considered in these investments, and expanding training on building energy codes.  These actions will save lives and livelihoods, while reducing the long-term cost of taxpayer-funded reconstruction following disasters. A partnership among states, private energy companies, DOE, and FEMA aimed at knowledge-sharing and technical assistance would accelerate investment and enhance results.”

“Ensuring strong coordination between federal agencies and state and local partners to support increased energy resilience through the BRIC program is critical to preparing communities for extreme weather events and we look forward to the full integration of the expertise DOE can provide as part of the interagency efforts to support resilience on the ground in communities that need it,” said Trina Sheets, Executive Director of NEMA.

“Americas clean energy sectors have the technology and expertise to build resilient energy systems, which save lives during extreme weather events,” said Lisa Jacobson, President of BCSE. “The cold-weather crisis last month showed us that up-front resilience investment is urgently needed. We ask Secretary Granholm to support the effective and efficient use of BRIC program funding.”

Download the full letter here.

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About the Business Council for Sustainable Energy: BCSE is a coalition of companies and trade associations from the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors, and also includes investor-owned utilities, public power, independent power producers, project developers, equipment manufacturers, and environmental and energy market service providers. Established in 1992, the Council advocates for policies that expand the use of commercially-available clean energy technologies, products and services. For more information on the Council, please visit www.bcse.org. For the latest industry data, download the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.

About the National Association of State Energy Officials: NASEO is the only national non-profit association for the governor-designated State Energy Directors and their offices from each of the 56 states, territories, and District of Columbia. Formed by the states in 1986, NASEO facilitates peer learning among state energy officials, serves as a resource for and about state energy offices, and advocates the interests of the state energy offices to Congress and federal agencies.  For more information about NASEO, please visit www.naseo.org.

About the National Emergency Management Association: Established in 1974, NEMA represents the emergency management directors of the 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. These professionals are responsible to their governors for all-hazards emergency preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery from all emergencies, disasters, and threats to the homeland. NEMA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, and an affiliate of the Council of State Governments.