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ICYMI: Walberg Op-Ed Highlights Need to Confront Threats to U.S. Electric Grid


08.27.18

WASHINGTON, DC#SubEnergy member Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) today penned an op-ed highlighting the need to secure our energy infrastructure against physical and cybersecurity threats and the importance of passing H.R. 5174, the Energy Emergency Leadership Act.

This bipartisan legislation, authored by Rep. Walberg and #SubEnergy Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-IL), would update the Department of Energy’s (DOE) decades-old core statute, the Department of Energy Organization Act. This practical legislation would elevate the energy security and emergency functions to a single Assistant Secretary, which will enhance DOE’s ability to appropriately and quickly address cybersecurity threats and other energy-related emergencies

Confronting Cyber Attacks to the U.S. Electricity Grid

By Rep. Tim Walberg

The U.S. electricity grid that powers our homes, businesses, and entire economy is increasingly under attack from hostile actors. These threats to our energy sector pose enormous risks to our national and economic security.

When the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was organized in the late 1970s, Congress could not have possibly imagined the cybersecurity challenges we face today. While the “Internet of Things” has allowed our grid to become more resilient, reliable, and efficient, it has also created myriad new security challenges that are rapidly evolving on a daily basis. Both the federal government and energy industry have a shared responsibility to ensure we are prepared for these challenges. In Congress, we are taking steps to modernize DOE to respond to the new realities of the 21st Century.

A core part of the agency’s mission is securing our nation’s critical electric infrastructure and other energy systems. As we’ve seen in recent years—with the growth of digital communications, the increased sophistication of hackers, and the complicated interconnections throughout our energy systems—DOE’s role has only become even more important.

Click here to read the full op-ed online.

Background

In May 2018, the Energy and Commerce Committee advanced several bills, including H.R. 5174, to strengthen DOE’s capabilities to respond to, and protect against, physical and cybersecurity threats to our energy infrastructure.

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