Event Details

See agenda below

Contact Remy Chappetta at [email protected] with questions.

Essential components of energy infrastructure are located along U.S. coastlines, where the increasing probability for storm damage creates a pressing need to minimize disruption to the nation's energy systems. Consequences of coastal flooding range from local power outages and unavailability of petroleum products to broader-scale power losses, economic stress, and ripple effects, such as effects to health care facilities.

There are 287 energy facilities in the lower 48 U.S. states at coastal elevations within 4 feet of ordinary high-tide level. Energy infrastructure that could be affected includes natural gas infrastructure, electric power plants, and oil and gas refineries in 22 states. More than half of the vulnerable facilities are located in Louisiana; Florida, California, New York, Texas, and New Jersey each have 10 to 30 sites within 4 feet of the high-tide level. On-shore coastal energy infrastructure also includes the electrical grid, pipelines, and port facilities

From the 2005 hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the oil industry learned that closures of gas-processing plants were caused not only by flooding, but also by lack of electricity, inaccessibility due to road damage, and supply-chain disruptions. The need to prepare the nation's energy systems to withstand new regimes of coastal flooding is evident but complicated by politically, economically, socially, and environmentally difficult choices.

In this half-day meeting, the Geographical Sciences Committee will consider the following:

1. What additional scientific knowledge is needed to support efforts to reduce flood damage to coastal energy infrastructure?

2. What impacts are likely to affect large geographical areas and/or persist for substantial periods of time?

3. Is the relative importance of different ports, production, and distribution systems, and the extents of ripple effects of damage to them well understood?


1:30 Welcome
Carol Harden, GSC Chair
Professor Emerita of Geography, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

1:45 Introduction
Marilyn Brown, GSC Member
Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems, Georgia Institute of Technology

2:00 Climate Change, Coastal Flooding, and the Electric Power Grid
Frank Felder, Director, Rutgers Energy Institute and Research Professor, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University

2:30 Oregon’s Energy Sector Vulnerabilities
Yumei Wang, Geotechnical Engineer, Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries

3:00 Break

3:15 Sea Level and Storm Surge Exposure of Coastal Energy Assets: Insights from Port and Water Infrastructure Assessments from Norfolk to Charleston
Tom Allen, Professor of Geography, Old Dominion University

3:45 Discussion

5:00 Adjourn

  • When: Thu Dec. 6
    1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Address: 2101 Constitution Avenue Northwest
    Washington DC,US 20418

  • Web: Visit Website