March 04, 2021

DOE Deputy Secretary Nominee Commits to Wyden to Improve Power Grid Resiliency

Wyden announces support for David Turk's nomination, citing how Turk and Secretary Granholm will bring science-based decision making back to the Department of Energy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked Deputy Secretary of Energy nominee David Turk about his commitment to improve power grid resiliency following recent extreme weather events leaving hundreds of thousands of Oregonians without power.

"Last year, Mr. Turk, wildfires hit Oregon like a wrecking ball, and just last month a winter storm left thousands of Oregonians with no power," Wyden said during Turk's nomination hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. "I have legislation to drive power companies to make their utility lines more resistant to these major weather events by increasing activities like undergrounding power lines, reinforcing utility poles, and clearing away brush. This is important to do so that power companies can do more, and so that these costs don’t come at the expense of ratepayers." 

When asked by Wyden if he would commit to work and make our power grid more resilient, Turk said, "I think we've seen not only in Oregon and out West, we've seen in Texas and we've seen in other parts of our country, the importance of resilience of our grids. It's something we need to work at. If I'm confirmed, I look forward to working with our terrific colleagues in the Department of Energy to do exactly as you suggest."

Wyden and Turk also discussed how clean energy and addressing the climate emergency go hand-in-hand with creating new jobs, as well as the importance of cyber risk management at the Department.

A video of the exchange can be found here.