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President Obama Visits DOE to Discuss Preparations for Hurricane Season

May 16, 2013 - 6:22pm

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President Barack Obama listens to Acting Energy Secretary Daniel B. Poneman during a meeting with electric utility CEOs and trade association representatives at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., May 8, 2013. | Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

President Barack Obama listens to Acting Energy Secretary Daniel B. Poneman during a meeting with electric utility CEOs and trade association representatives at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., May 8, 2013. | Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

Last week, President Obama visited the Department of Energy to meet with agency officials, electric utility executives and trade association representatives to discuss lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and preparations to speed power restoration during the upcoming hurricane season.

The White House issued the following summary of the event:

Today, the President, joined by senior members of his response team, attended a meeting with electric utility executives and trade association representatives at the Department of Energy to discuss lessons learned during the response to Hurricane Sandy, as well as discuss ongoing preparations for the 2013 hurricane season which begins June 1st. In the meeting, the President thanked the utility executives for their efforts during the response to Hurricane Sandy and noted the strong working relationship demonstrated between industry and the federal government as companies worked to restore power to millions of customers in Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern States, including the resources and personnel shared to assist these efforts by a number of companies who were outside of the affected region. The President discussed that in the wake of major disasters like Hurricane Sandy extended power outages can have major impacts on communities and recovery efforts, and that beyond the lifesaving and life sustaining efforts which are the immediate priority in any response, one of the most important steps is power restoration.

In the meeting, utility executives discussed lessons learned during the Hurricane Sandy response that the industry and the federal government can apply to large power restoration efforts in the future. The President thanked them for their partnership in these efforts and for their work with his emergency response team to coordinate and share best practices. He made clear that his administration is committed to working closely with industry on suggestions that could further improve future response efforts.

At the meeting the President was joined by Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal, Acting Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Bill Bryan, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration Adam Sieminski and other members of his response team.

A list of attendees is below:

Tom Kuhn, EEI
David Owens, EEI
Brian Wolff, EEI
Jo Ann Emerson, NRECA
Joe Nipper, APPA
Joy Ditto, APPA
Jim Burpee, Canadian Electric Association
Nick Akins, AEP
Tony Alexander, FirstEnergy
John Bilda, Norwich, CT
Kevin Burke, ConEd
Mel Coleman, North Arkansas Electric Corp.
Chris Crane, Exelon
Anita Decker, BPA
Ken DeFontes, BGE
Leo Denault, Entergy
Charles Freni, Central Hudson
Mark Gabriel, WAPA
Lew Hay, NextEra Energy
Tom King, National Grid
Bob Kump, Iberdrola
Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G
Ron Litzinger, Southern California Edison
Len McMillan, Hydro One
Lee Olivier, NSTAR
Paul Pallas, Rockville Centre, NY
Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power
Bob Powers, AEP
Gil Quiniones, NYPA
Joe Rigby, PEPCO
Eric Silagy, Florida Power & Light
Bill Spence, PPL
Jim Torgerson, UIL Holdings
Keith Trent, Duke Energy
Geisha Williams, PGE Corps
Rod West, Entergy

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