Prepare, Protect, Respond
Bruce Walker is Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity, U.S. Department of Energy.
PUF: What do you do on an average day?
Bruce Walker: I'm the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity. We have primary responsibility for national security for the electric grid. It also encompasses the fuel supply for the national grid and includes natural gas. Primarily where that comes to bear with industry is around our Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure (DCEI). This was defined in the 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.
We have primary responsibility for DCEI within the Office of Electricity. We work closely within the building with the National Nuclear Security Administration. We also work with the Department of Defense to define the basic subset of what is DCEI. We work closely with the Department of Homeland Security on what you think of as the bottom one percent of the sixteen critical infrastructure sectors - those are aspects of the telecom and water systems. They include dams, ports, rails, airports, what's necessary to stand up the country from a projection of force perspective. It's complex with regard to the interdependencies of those critical infrastructure sectors.
Within that, we also own the portfolio for all of the research and development for the electric sector. We do quite a bit within transmission and generation. Research and development for energy storage is also a huge component of what we do, and we partner with the national labs on that.