electric gridThe security of the bulk-power system has long been an issue of deep concern in the US. On May 1, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) on Securing the United States Bulk-Power System. The EO created uncertainty and peril for US power companies.

The EO prohibits any acquisition, importation, transfer, or installation of any US bulk-power system electric equipment where:

  1. The transaction involves any property in which any foreign country or foreign national has any interest (including through supply contracts);
  2. The transaction was initiated after the date of the Executive Order; and
  3. Where the Secretary of Energy, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and, as appropriate, the heads of other executive departments and agencies (agencies), has determined that:
    • The transaction involves bulk-power system electric equipment designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied, by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary; and
    • The transaction: (i) poses an undue risk of sabotage to or subversion of the design, integrity, manufacturing, production, distribution, installation, operation, or maintenance of the US bulk-power system; (ii) poses an undue risk of catastrophic effects on the security or resiliency of US critical infrastructure or the economy of the US; or (iii) otherwise poses an unacceptable risk to the national security of the US or the security and safety of US persons.

Our multidisciplinary team of practitioners in energy, national security and public policy diligently examined the EO from the following perspectives:

  • Political – with respect to the continuation of election year “tough on China” policy
  • Regulatory – on the dramatic changes to existing grid security
  • Industry – examine the real impact to industry players
  • General concerns – such as presidential authority, confusion on regulatory authority, lack of clarity in drafting the order and its scope

We Can Help

We have the expertise, industry understanding and the right relationships to help industry players, associations and private companies alike, navigate the next stages of implementing the executive order. Department of Energy (DOE) will be a focal point, as it is critical that DOE issue regulations or at least provide some high-level guidance quickly, both to set up its processes for implementing the order and its determinations about what equipment is and what is not acceptable.

Read the full publication here, and contact us with any question or need for assistance.