Senior Advisor Susan Tierney Testifies Before Senate Committee on Impacts of Climate Change on Energy Infrastructure

August 2, 2023

Analysis Group Senior Advisor Susan Tierney testified at the US Senate Committee on the Budget’s “Beyond the Breaking Point: The Fiscal Consequences of Climate Change on Infrastructure” hearing. In her testimony, she detailed the effects of the changing climate – and in particular, extreme weather events associated with it – on critical energy infrastructure, and outlined their related costs.

Dr. Tierney provided examples of recent extreme weather events, and described the significant loss of life; power outages; energy rate spikes and supply constraints; and financial impacts on consumers, utilities, governments, and the economy at large associated with these events. She discussed a framework for assessing the costs of climate change on energy infrastructure, and explored insurance considerations and resiliency measures for utilities. Citing recent National Climate Assessments (NCAs) – of which she was previously a co-lead author for the energy chapter – Dr. Tierney also explored the economic and national security risks of climate change, largely related to power outages that impact other critical infrastructure systems, such as communications and transportation. She concluded her testimony by “encouraging Congress to act as swiftly as possible to address the emissions that are the root cause of the changing climate.”

Read Dr. Tierney’s testimony