Louisiana is a significant exporter of fuel and energy in the United States. As such, the extensive oil, gas, refinery, and petrochemical infrastructure within the state define a very different energy profile than most other states. Almost all of the energy consumed in Louisiana is produced within the state, making this infrastructure particularly critical to the state’s energy assurance.
Hurricanes are the single most consistent high-probability, high-impact threat to the state’s energy profile and energy assurance. In the last seven years alone, with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and Gustav and Ike in 2008, the state has suffered more deaths, property damage, and historical power outages, and has seen the largest evacuations in the nation to date. Hurricanes threaten life and property, and cause preemptive business interruptions and large scale citizen evacuations. In Louisiana, hurricanes also cause preemptive shutdown of the nationally significant petrochemical infrastructure component of the state’s energy profile, causing impacts to Louisiana to be felt throughout the nation.
Louisiana has built a sophisticated and resilient set of public private partnerships to enhance energy assurance, particularly in emergency situations. The Louisiana Fuel Team, a cooperative effort between the state Department of Natural Resources and industry and trade organizations, has developed a detailed Play Book particularly focused on emergency evacuation fuel. With the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center, the state has built processes for more effective communication between industry and government. These organizations, working cooperatively with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and the state Emergency Operations Center, and with academic partners at the National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies (NIMSAT) Institute, make for a highly effective team in providing energy assurance to the state.