Energy Security Planning, Preparedness, and Response
Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §4-3-510, OEP has the duty and responsibility to “promote state and local energy emergency preparedness in coordination with other appropriate state agencies, such as the military department.” Subsequently, OEP is responsible for coordinating Emergency Support Function 12 - Energy (ESF-12) activities related to transportation and heating fuels under the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan, to enhance Tennessee’s preparedness for disruptions to the state’s energy resources.
This work includes the ongoing management of the State’s Energy Security Plan and Tennessee Petroleum Shortage Response Guidance, in cooperation with other State agencies and private industry stakeholders. ESF-12 activities require OEP staff to attend U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) energy emergency planning seminars, participate in training exercises, and serve as the primary ESF-12 Emergency Services Coordinators (ESCs) for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). In addition, OEP staff members serve as the State’s Energy Emergency Assurance Coordinators (EEACs) for the U.S. DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, Division of Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration. Under this program, EEACs act as points of contact in each state during energy emergencies.
Energy Security Education and Outreach
OEP distributes an Energy Security Quarterly Newsletter to a list of stakeholders in the public and private sectors. OEP also conducts training sessions, coordinates and participates in energy emergency response exercises, and educates fellow ESCs on energy security through participation in the National Association of State Energy Officials’ Energy Security Committee. Finally, OEP participates in the State Heating Oil and Propane Program to report propane prices during the winter heating season for weekly publication by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Initiative for Resiliency in Energy through Vehicles (iREV)
iREV brings together emergency management, energy security, and transportation experts to support the incorporation of alternative fuel vehicles in emergency response and preparedness operations. iREV’s resources and technical assistance aid emergency management entities in examining the costs, benefits, and interdependencies associated with diversifying local fleets, reducing dependence on petroleum, and investing in alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure in support of energy security.
Energy Security Resources
OEP has compiled several resources, tools, and case studies to help its stakeholders learn about and understand the importance of planning for energy emergency situations. These resources provide information on fuel delivery, energy infrastructure design, State and federal energy security regulations, personal resiliency, and more.
Fuel Disruption Tabletop Exercise
In August 2019, OEP conducted an invitation-only statewide energy security and fuel disruption tabletop exercise in coordination with TEMA, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the National Association of State Energy Officials, and petroleum industry experts. County emergency management staff, Southeastern state ESCs, and several federal agency partners were also invited to participate.
Photos courtesy of TDEC OEP staff or Pixabay.com.