House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders reintroduce four cybersecurity bills

Published on May 14, 2021 by Dave Kovaleski

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Four bipartisan bills designed to secure America’s energy infrastructure were recently reintroduced by House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders.

The legislation announcement was made less than a week after the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, with committee leaders stating that it reflects how necessary support is for bipartisan energy solutions.

“The Colonial Pipeline cyberattack and the ripple effects being felt now across the country are sharp reminders of just how deeply we all rely upon our energy infrastructure every day, and just how crucial it is that we invest in modernizing and protecting it,” said Committee Chair Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), ranking member. “Doing so is a matter of national security, and we’re pleased to be working in a bipartisan way to strengthen our energy infrastructure, including by enhancing security and resiliency of our pipelines, LNG facilities, and electric grid, particularly through the Department of Energy (DOE). These solutions and related cybersecurity legislation should be enacted immediately.”

The Energy and Commerce Committee introduced four bills, including:

• The Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act (H.R. 3078), led by Fred Upton (R-MI) and Bobby Rush (D-IL), is designed to strengthen the DOE’s ability to respond to cybersecurity threats to pipelines and LNG facilities;
• The Energy Emergency Leadership Act (H.R. 3119), led by Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Tim Walberg (R-MI), seeks to elevate energy emergency and cybersecurity responsibilities as a core function for the DOE;
• The Cyber Sense Act and the Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act (H.R. 2928), led by Bob Latta (R-OH) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA), encourages coordination between the DOE and electric utilities to bolster the electric infrastructure; and
• The Enhancing Grid Security through Public Private Partnerships Act (H.R. 2931), sponsored by Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Bob Latta (R-OH), directs the Secretary of Energy to create and implement a program to enhance the physical and cybersecurity of electric utilities.

“Last weekend’s cyberattack exposed our vulnerabilities and underscored the urgent need to strengthen our energy infrastructure and protect the systems that help power our way of life,” Rush and Upton said. “The Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act will help the Department of Energy respond effectively to physical and cyber threats to our nation’s pipeline and LNG facilities. Our national security and economic vitality rely on the efficient transport of crucial energy supplies nationwide. Any prolonged delay in fuel delivery can hike gas prices, impact business operations, raise energy costs for American families, and invite adversaries to exploit these vulnerabilities.”