“I think any of you who watched the Super Bowl last night know that energy is not only good, it’s necessary. And whether it’s keeping the lights on so that we can enjoy the game or whether it’s keeping the lights on so that we can work, this is — this is essential to who we are as a prosperous nation,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said at a press conference to unveil an energy proposal on Monday. …

Minutes into the second half of the game, an electrical-load monitor sensed an “abnormality in the system,” according to a joint statement from the management company of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the stadium’s energy supplier. The monitor then opened a breaker, cutting power to part of the Superdome “in order to isolate the issue.” That kind of fast response is a sign of things to come if and when the nation upgrades its energy infrastructure.

“I mean, in the past, there haven’t been that many sensors out there, there haven’t been that many ways to redirect things and control things and there also haven’t been that many different resources, so if one power plant were to run into a problem, that was a major problem,” said Dan Delurey, the president of the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition, a trade association for providers of smart grid technologies. …

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the country’s energy infrastructure a D+ in an infrastructure report card released in 2009. The U.S. “quality of electricity supply” is ranked 33rd globally by the World Economic Forum’s 2012-2013 Global Competitiveness Report. Proponents say improvements to the nation’s infrastructure will create jobs.