On May 1, 2020, President Trump signed Executive Order (EO) 13920, "Securing the United States Bulk-Power System, " which authorizes U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette to work with the Cabinet and the energy industry to secure America’s Bulk-Power System (BPS). The Department of Energy’s (DOE) press release can be found here.
The EO declares threats to the bulk-power system by foreign adversaries constitute a national emergency. Serving as the backbone of our Nation’s energy infrastructure, the BPS is fundamental to national security, emergency services, critical infrastructure, and the economy. The 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment and the 2020-2022 National Counterintelligence Strategy describe in detail the threat foreign adversaries pose to our critical infrastructure and the importance of energy to the United States. Accordingly, it is imperative we work quickly to increase protections to the U.S. bulk-power system.
DOE, in consultation with the heads of other agencies, will issue regulations implementing the authorities delegated to the Secretary in this EO. While the EO is applicable to both the Federal government and industry, the rulemaking process will allow ample opportunity for stakeholder comment and input and will provide flexibility in the timeline for implementation.
- Prohibits any acquisition, importation, transfer, or installation of bulk-power system electric equipment which has a nexus with any foreign adversary and poses an undue risk to national security, the economy, or the safety and security of Americans;
- Authorizes the Secretary to establish criteria for recognizing particular equipment and vendors as "pre-qualified";
- Calls for identifying any now-prohibited BPS equipment already in use, allowing the government to develop strategies and to work with asset owners to identify, isolate, monitor, and replace this equipment as appropriate; and
- Establishes a Task Force on Federal Energy Infrastructure Procurement Policies Related to National Security, which will focus on the coordination of Federal Government procurement of energy infrastructure and the sharing of risk information and risk management practices.
The new task force will be chaired by the Secretary and will consult with the energy industry through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council and the Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council. The task force will develop recommendations for energy infrastructure procurement policies, that it will pass on to the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council, to ensure national security considerations are fully integrated into government energy security and cybersecurity policymaking.
BPS EO Specific Reference Documents:
- Executive Order on Securing the United States Bulk-Power System
- Frequently Asked Questions
- BPS EO – One Page Summary
- Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and OE Assistant Secretary Bruce Walker discuss the EO with POLITICO Energy (5/13/20)
- Stakeholder Call on the Bulk-Power System Executive Order (5/21/20) (Transcript)
Related Reference Documents:
- 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (114-94)
- Division F – Energy Security. Sec. 61003. Critical electric infrastructure security.
- 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community
- 2019 Executive Order on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain
- 2020-2022 National Counterintelligence Strategy
For additional information regarding the BPS EO, please email bulkpowersystemEO@hq.doe.gov.