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Far-reaching Role in Grid Defense Awaits Perry, Energywire

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Morgan Lewis partner Daniel Skees comments on a last-minute addition by the US Congress to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act in 2015 and the authority it gives US Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry. 

“There’s no apparent limit on the utility actions the secretary might order,” said Mr. Skees in an interview with E&E News. Referring to the secretary’s power to order utilities to put their operations in defensive mode following predesigned plans or even shut down parts of the grid to protect vital equipment from threats, Skees added, “It is an extreme response for a reason: It’s a blunt tool with real human risks, such as the loss of power to critical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes and prisons.”

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