On December 8-9, NASEO and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability held a cyber and energy emergency exercise in Newport, Rhode Island. The exercise focused on Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, and included State Energy Office Directors, State Utility Commissioners, oil, gas, utility industry representatives, and related Federal officials from the Departments of Homeland Security, Transportation and Defense.
The exercise tested the response and recovery efforts of state and federal officials and the private energy industries to an electrical power outage of significant portions affecting much of the Northeast and Middle Atlantic States from a cyber incident. Under the scenarios used, it took over two weeks to fully restore power to all customers. The exercise included related energy infrastructure impacts on petroleum suppliers and refineries in the affected area that also resulted in a major fuel shortage. The exercise participants responded with actions that would taken to mitigate the impacts of the power outage, as well as impacts on gasoline supplies and heating oil to consumers.
Devon Streit, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration Division provided the opening remarks to set the tone on the importance of developing enhanced federal, state and industry coordination to a potential cyber event.
Lessons learned and action items to improve assessment and response capbilities are now being deveveloped based on the outcome of the exercise and will be used to address critical findings.