Bill Text: TX SB330 | 2023-2024 | 88th Legislature | Comm Sub

Bill Title: Relating to the resilience of the electric grid and certain municipalities.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Engrossed - Dead) 2023-05-23 - Placed on General State Calendar [SB330 Detail]

Download: Texas-2023-SB330-Comm_Sub.html
  By: Hall, et al. S.B. No. 330
  (Schaefer, Spiller, Anderson)
  relating to the resilience of the electric grid and certain
         SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that:
               (1)  electric grid outages threaten the lives of the
  citizens of this state and pose a disproportionately large risk to:
                     (A)  the elderly, vulnerable, and underprivileged
  within this state; and
                     (B)  communities facing disproportionate
  environmental health burdens and population vulnerabilities
  relating to facilities such as chemical plants and refineries that
  can become environmental disaster areas when taken off-line due to
  loss of electricity;
               (2)  the 16 critical infrastructures identified in
  President Barack Obama's Presidential Policy Directive "Critical
  Infrastructure Security and Resilience" (PPD-21) including water
  and wastewater systems, food and agriculture, communications
  systems, the energy sector including refineries and fuel
  distribution systems, chemical plants, the financial sector,
  hospitals and health care facilities, law enforcement and
  government facilities, nuclear reactors, and other critical
  functions depend on the electric grid in this state and make the
  grid's protection vital to the economy of this nation and homeland
               (3)  the power outage that occurred in this state in
  February 2021 caused:
                     (A)  death and suffering in this state;
                     (B)  economic loss to this state's economy;
                     (C)  impacts to all critical infrastructures in
  this state;
                     (D)  the dispatch of generation units that likely
  exceeded limits established by the Environmental Protection Agency
  for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, and carbon monoxide
  emissions and wastewater release limits;
                     (E)  radically increased pricing of electricity
  that resulted in making electric power bills unaffordable to many
  customers across this state; and
                     (F)  the exacerbation of the COVID-19 pandemic
  risk by forcing many of the state's citizens to consolidate at
  warming centers and in other small spaces where warmth for survival
  superseded social distancing protocols;
               (4)  a previous large-scale power outage occurred in
  this state in February 2011 during which 4.4 million customers were
               (5)  this state is uniquely positioned to prevent power
  outages because this state is a net exporter of energy and is the
  only state with an electric grid almost exclusively within its
  territorial boundaries;
               (6)  the 2011 and 2021 power outages call into
                     (A)  whether too much risk has been accepted
  regarding weatherization of electric generation infrastructure;
                     (B)  whether this state lacks the internal
  distribution structure and control systems to manage rolling
  outages; and
                     (C)  whether sufficient resources have been
  allocated toward overall grid resilience;
               (7)  public confidence in the resilience of the
  electric grid in this state is essential to ensuring economic
  prosperity, domestic tranquility, continuity of government, and
  life-sustaining systems;
               (8)  a resilient electric grid that offers businesses
  in this state continuity of operations in the event of a natural or
  man-made disaster will be an unrivaled attraction for businesses to
  expand or move their operations to this state and for protecting
  what is important to this state, including its military
  installations and its environment;
               (9)  current market incentives and regulations are not
  sufficient for electric utilities to:
                     (A)  prioritize grid security and resilience; and
                     (B)  protect the grid against hazards;
               (10)  protection of the electric grid in this state
  against hazards would assure businesses and the citizens of this
  state that the "lights will be back on first in Texas" in the event
  of a nationwide catastrophe affecting electric infrastructure,
  sparing catastrophic societal and environmental consequences for
  this state; and
               (11)  when this state begins implementation of the plan
  for all hazards resilience described by Section 44.006, Utilities
  Code, as added by this Act, to protect the electric grid in this
  state, short-term and long-term economic benefit will far exceed
  even the most optimistic estimates of the conventional economic
  incentives provided by tax abatements to attract businesses to this
         SECTION 2.  Subtitle B, Title 2, Utilities Code, is amended
  by adding Chapter 44 to read as follows:
         Sec. 44.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "All hazards" means:
                     (A)  terrestrial weather including wind,
  hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, ice storms, extended cold weather
  events, heat waves, and wildfires;
                     (B)  seismic events including earthquakes and
                     (C)  physical threats including terrorist attacks
  with direct fire, drones, explosives, and other methods of physical
                     (D)  cyber attacks including malware attacks and
  hacking of unprotected or compromised information technology
                     (E)  manipulation of operational technology
  devices including sensors, actuators, and drives;
                     (F)  electromagnetic threats through man-made
  radio frequency weapons, high-altitude nuclear electromagnetic
  pulse, and naturally occurring geomagnetic disturbances;
                     (G)  electric generation supply chain
  vulnerabilities including insecure or inadequate fuel
  transportation or storage; and
                     (H)  insider threats caused by compromised or
  hostile personnel working within government or the utility
               (2)  "Micro-grid" means a group of interconnected loads
  and distributed energy resources inside clearly defined electrical
               (3)  "Security commission" means the Texas Grid
  Security Commission.
         Sec. 44.002.  TEXAS GRID SECURITY COMMISSION. (a) The Texas
  Grid Security Commission is composed of the following members:
               (1)  a representative of the Texas Division of
  Emergency Management appointed by the chief of that division;
               (2)  a representative of the commission appointed by
  that commission;
               (3)  a representative of the Railroad Commission of
  Texas appointed by that commission;
               (4)  a representative of the independent organization
  certified under Section 39.151 for the ERCOT power region appointed
  by the chief executive officer of that organization;
               (5)  a representative of power generation companies
  appointed by the chief of the Texas Division of Emergency
  Management; and
               (6)  a representative of transmission and distribution
  utilities appointed by the chief of the Texas Division of Emergency
         (b)  The chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management
  may invite members or former members of the United States Air
  Force's Electromagnetic Defense Task Force to advise the security
         (c)  The Texas Division of Emergency Management shall
  designate a member of the security commission to serve as presiding
         (d)  The presiding officer may invite to advise the security
  commission any person whose expertise the security commission
  considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
         (e)  The security commission shall convene at the call of the
  presiding officer.
         (f)  The security commission shall report to the chief of the
  Texas Division of Emergency Management.
         (g)  A vacancy on the security commission is filled by
  appointment for the unexpired term in the same manner as the
  original appointment.
         (h)  To the extent possible, individuals appointed to the
  security commission must be residents of this state.
         (i)  The presiding officer of the security commission or the
  chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management may invite
  subject matter experts to advise the security commission, including
  individuals recognized as experts in the fields of law enforcement,
  emergency services, communications, water and sewer services,
  health care, financial services, agriculture, transportation,
  electricity markets, cybersecurity of grid control systems,
  electromagnetic pulse mitigation, terrestrial and solar weather,
  and micro-grids. The presiding officer may invite an individual
  for this purpose regardless of whether the individual is a resident
  of this state.
         Sec. 44.003.  GRID RESILIENCE INFORMATION. (a)  Each of the
  following members of the security commission shall apply for a
  secret security clearance or an interim secret security clearance
  to be granted by the federal government:
               (1)  the representative of the independent
  organization certified under Section 39.151 for the ERCOT power
               (2)  the representative of the Texas Division of
  Emergency Management; and
               (3)  the representative of the commission.
         (b)  A member of the security commission listed under
  Subsection (a) who is granted an applicable security clearance
  under that subsection is a member of the information security
  working group.
         (c)  The information security working group shall determine:
               (1)  which information created or obtained by the
  security commission is confidential;
               (2)  which members of the security commission may
  access which types of information received by the security
  commission; and
               (3)  which members, other than members of the working
  group, should apply for a secret security clearance or interim
  clearance granted by the federal government.
         (d)  Information that the information security working group
  determines is confidential under Subsection (c) shall be stored and
  maintained by the independent organization certified under Section
  39.151 for the ERCOT power region.
         (e)  The security commission must maintain a reasonable
  balance between public transparency and security for information
  determined to be confidential under Subsection (c).
         (f)  Confidential information created or obtained by the
  security commission is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552,
  Government Code.
         (g)  A meeting of the security commission that involves the
  discussion of confidential information is not subject to Chapter
  551, Government Code.
         Sec. 44.004.  GRID RESILIENCE EVALUATION. (a)  The security
  commission shall evaluate, using available information on past
  power outages in ERCOT, all hazards to the ERCOT electric grid,
  including threats that can cause future outages.  The security
  commission shall evaluate the resilience of municipalities in this
  state in the following essential areas:
               (1)  emergency services;
               (2)  communications systems;
               (3)  water and sewer services;
               (4)  health care systems;
               (5)  financial services;
               (6)  energy systems, including an evaluation of whether
  energy, electric power, and fuel supplies are protected and
  available for recovery in the event of a catastrophic power outage;
               (7)  transportation systems.
         (b)  The security commission may create groups or teams to
  identify and address each hazard as necessary. The security
  commission must assess each hazard both on the likelihood of
  occurrence of the hazard and the potential consequences of the
         (c)  The security commission shall identify methods by which
  this state can support an overall national deterrence policy as
  proposed by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, including by:
               (1)  identifying means to ensure that all hazards
  resilience for electric utilities supports critical national
  security functions in this state; and
               (2)  engaging the Texas National Guard to be trained as
  first responders to cybersecurity threats to the ERCOT electric
  grid and other critical infrastructure.
         (d)  The security commission shall evaluate nuclear
  generation sites in this state, the resilience of each nuclear
  reactor to all hazards, and the resilience to all hazards of
  off-site power for critical safety systems that support the reactor
  and spent fuel. The security commission may communicate with the
  Nuclear Regulatory Commission to accomplish the evaluation.
         (e)  The security commission shall evaluate current Critical
  Infrastructure Protection standards established by the North
  American Electric Reliability Corporation and standards set by the
  National Institute of Standards and Technology to determine the
  most appropriate standards for protecting grid infrastructure in
  this state.
         (f)  The security commission shall investigate the steps
  that local communities and other states have taken to address grid
  resilience. The security commission may request funding from the
  Texas Division of Emergency Management to conduct site visits to
  these locations as required.
         (g)  The security commission shall identify universities
  based in this state that have expertise in cybersecurity and other
  matters that can contribute to the security commission's goal of
  mitigating all hazards to the grid in this state.
         (h)  In carrying out the security commission's duties under
  this section, the security commission may solicit information from:
               (1)  defense contractors with experience protecting
  defense systems from electromagnetic pulse;
               (2)  electric utilities that have developed
  electromagnetic pulse protections for the utilities' grid assets;
               (3)  the United States Department of Homeland Security;
               (4)  the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United
  States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack.
         Sec. 44.005.  RESILIENCE STANDARDS.  (a)  Based on the
  findings of the evaluations and investigations conducted under
  Section 44.004, the security commission shall consider and
  recommend resilience standards for municipalities and critical
  components of the ERCOT electric grid.
         (b)  Standards considered and recommended for energy systems
  of municipalities should include provisions to ensure that energy,
  electric power, and fuel supplies are protected and available for
  recovery in the event of a catastrophic power outage.
         (c)  Not later than October 1, 2024, the security commission
  shall prepare and deliver a report to the legislature on the
  recommended resilience standards as required under this section and
  an anticipated timeline for implementation of the standards.
         Sec. 44.006.  PLAN FOR ALL HAZARDS RESILIENCE. (a) Not
  later than October 1, 2024, the security commission shall prepare
  and deliver to the legislature a plan for protecting the ERCOT
  electric grid from all hazards, including a catastrophic loss of
  power in the state.
         (b)  The plan must include:
               (1)  weatherizing requirements to prevent power
  outages from extreme cold weather events, an analysis of whether
  these requirements would induce cyber vulnerabilities, and an
  analysis of the associated costs for these requirements;
               (2)  provisions for installing, replacing, or
  upgrading industrial control systems and associated networks, or
  the use of compensating controls or procedures, in critical
  facilities to address cyber vulnerabilities;
               (3)  provisions for installing, replacing, or
  upgrading extra high-voltage power transformers and supervisory
  control and data acquisition systems to withstand 100
  kilovolts/meter E1 electromagnetic pulses and 85 volts/kilometer
  E3 electromagnetic pulses;
               (4)  a timeline for making improvements to remaining
  infrastructure to meet resilience standards adopted by the security
  commission under Section 44.005;
               (5)  long-term resilience provisions for supporting
  industries including:
                     (A)  nuclear reactors, materials, and waste;
                     (B)  fuel supply;
                     (C)  health care;
                     (D)  communications;
                     (E)  water and sewer services;
                     (F)  food supply; and
                     (G)  transportation; and
               (6)  any additional provisions considered necessary by
  the security commission.
         (c)  The security commission may consult with the Private
  Sector Advisory Council in developing the plan.
         Sec. 44.007.  GRID RESILIENCE REPORT. (a) Not later than
  January 1 of each year, the security commission shall prepare and
  deliver a nonclassified report to the legislature, the governor,
  and the commission assessing natural and man-made threats to the
  electric grid and efforts to mitigate the threats.
         (b)  The security commission shall make the report available
  to the public.
         (c)  In preparing the report, the security commission may
  hold confidential or classified briefings with federal, state, and
  local officials as necessary.
         Sec. 44.008.  MICRO-GRIDS.  The security commission shall
  recommend resilience standards for micro-grids.  The standards must
  be developed for both alternating current and direct current.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2023.