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ICYMI: Latta on grid security as national security

Washington, July 15, 2019 | Mikayla Hall (202-225-6405)

Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) questioned energy and cybersecurity experts from the U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation during an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. Latta, a co-chair of the Congressional Grid Innovation Caucus, focused his questions on bipartisan legislation he has championed and the need to protect system networks from potential attackers. Click here to watch the exchange.

“Earlier this year, I joined my colleague and fellow co-chair of the Grid Innovation Caucus, Mr. McNerney, to introduce two pieces of legislation that would improve our nation’s grid security and resilience and encourage coordination between the Department of Energy and electric utilities,” said Latta. “Both of these bills have been favorably reported out of this Subcommittee and it is my hope that we can see additional legislative action on them soon. The need to strengthen the defense of our nation’s grid infrastructure has never been clearer.”

Background:

Congressman Latta has long been an advocate for energy innovation, particularly for cybersecurity. He has partnered with Congressman McNerney (D-CA) on several bills, including H.R. 359 the Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act, and H.R. 360 the Cyber Sense Act. H.R. 359 would direct DOE to facilitate and encourage public-private partnerships in order to improve cybersecurity of electric utilities. It would improve the sharing of best practices and data collection, along with providing training and technical assistance to electric utilities in order to address and mitigate cybersecurity risks.

H.R. 360 would create a voluntary DOE ‘Cyber Sense’ program that would identify and promote cyber-secure products for use in the bulk-power system. It would also establish a testing process for the products along with a reporting process of cybersecurity vulnerability. Finally, the Secretary of Energy would be required to keep a related database on these products to assist electric utilities in their evaluation of products and their potential to cause harm to the electric grid.

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