In the News – This Week in Critical Infrastructure: Week of August 28, 2017

Posted: September 1, 2017 at 9:25 am

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This Week in Critical Infrastructure we look at the latest infrastructure commentary in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastating impact on the Texas coastline, as well as Tribal resilience efforts in response to extreme weather and a critical response to the Department of Energy’s grid report.


As Hurricanes Bear Down, Tribes Act Quickly to Build Resilience Plans

Terri Hansen writes for Yes magazine on tribal efforts to build resilience in the face of increasingly severe weather threats. For Native American tribes who are dependent on their environment for both subsistence and identity, climate change and shifting weather patterns pose an outsized threat.

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Resilience or Flexibility? DOE’s Grid Report Lays Bare the Struggle between Past and Future

In this opinion contribution to Utility Dive, Energy Innovation’s Mike O’Boyle criticizes the recent Department of Energy report on grid resilience for failing to offer forward-looking policy solutions. O’Boyle argues that the language of resilience used by the report ultimately delivers a continuation of the status quo without offering a path toward innovation.

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How Harvey Exposes America’s Dangerously Dilapidated Infrastructure

From The Week, Ryan Cooper delivers commentary on how Hurricane Harvey and the immense flooding in Houston have brought attention to aging infrastructure in one of the nation’s largest cities. Public works projects like the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs, which have risen to overflowing in the past week, are only two of the many New Deal era infrastructure projects across the nation that have been maintained with minimal investment to the point of near-certain failure in the event of major events like Harvey.

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After Harvey, Attention Turns To Houston’s Petrochemical Infrastructure

Writing for Forbes, Ramanan Krishnamoorti of the University of Houston Energy Fellows writes on the impact Hurricane Harvey is having on the petrochemical infrastructure along the Texas coast. With about 40 percent of U.S. petrochemical manufacturing located in the regions affected by Harvey, the storm and its disruptions have highlighted the operational needs for these facilities and assets in the event of major disruptions.

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Write to the Editors at ciprpt@gmu.edu