Texas Power Outage: Implications for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Policy [March 4, 2021] [open pdf - 557KB]
From the Document: "The statewide power outages in Texas following a severe cold weather event in February 2021 illustrated the vulnerability of electricity supply as a critical economic and safety function. The widespread failure of electric generation facilities in severe weather conditions led to blackouts that affected millions of residents and caused extensive property damage and loss of life. Much of the post-event commentary has focused on the unique regulatory environment in Texas, which some observers fault for the lack of adequate weatherization at critical generation facilities. Texas operates an electric grid that is largely isolated from the national grid, and therefore exempt from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulations applicable to interstate commerce. The federal policy framework for critical infrastructure security and resilience (CISR) has generally received less public attention. This nonregulatory framework provides authority and guidance for a broad range of voluntary public-private partnerships to promote national CISR goals--including grid resilience. This CRS [Congressional Research Service] Insight provides an overview of the federal CISR policy framework--focusing on its application to the risk management practices of the electricity generation and distribution industry in Texas and elsewhere."
CRS Insight, IN11629
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/