Climate Change: Energy Infrastructure Risks and Adaptation Efforts, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 5MB]
"According to the NRC [National Research Council] and the USGCRP [U.S. Global Change Research Program], changes in the earth's climate--including higher temperatures, changes in precipitation, rising sea levels, and increases in the severity and frequency of severe weather events--are under way and expected to grow more severe over time. These impacts present significant risks to the nation's energy infrastructure. Economic losses arising from weather-related events--including floods, droughts, and storms--have been large and are increasing, according to USGCRP. Adaptation--an adjustment to natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climate change--is a risk-management strategy to help protect vulnerable sectors and communities that might be affected by climate change. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to examine the vulnerability of the nation's energy infrastructure to climate change impacts. This report examines: (1) what is known about potential impacts of climate change on U.S. energy infrastructure; (2) measures that can reduce climate-related risks and adapt energy infrastructure to climate change; and (3) the role of the federal government in adapting energy infrastructure and adaptation steps selected federal entities have taken. GAO reviewed climate change assessments; analyzed relevant studies and agency documents; and interviewed federal agency officials and industry stakeholders, including energy companies at four sites that have implemented adaptive measures."