U.S. House Subcommittee Advances Four Energy Security Bills

On April 18, 2018, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy advanced four bipartisan bills to the full committee to ensure the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has the tools it needs to execute its core energy security mission.  The four bipartisan legislative proposals aim to elevate DOE’s efforts on cyber response and engagement and to create new programs to address both electric grid and pipeline security. The action comes following federal disclosures that Russian hackers staged a cyber-attack against the U.S. energy grid and other critical sectors.  In March 2018, NASEO’s testified at a subcommittee hearing in support of the four bills which include:

  • H.R. 5174, Energy Emergency Leadership Act which updates the U.S. Department of Energy Organization Act to include energy emergency and energy security functions which the secretary shall assign to an assistant secretary.
  • H.R. 5175, Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act which would require the Secretary of Energy to carry out a program to coordinate federal agencies, states, and the energy sector to ensure the security, resiliency, and survivability of     natural gas pipelines, hazardous liquid pipelines, and liquefied natural gas facilities.
  • H.R. 5239, Cyber Sense Act which would establish a voluntary U.S. Department of Energy program that tests the cybersecurity of products and technologies intended for use in the bulk-power system, including products related to industrial control systems. H.R. 5239 would also authorize DOE to provide technical assistance to electric utilities, product manufacturers, and other electricity sector stakeholders to help mitigate identified cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
  • H.R. 5240, Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act which would require the U.S. Department of Energy to establish a program to facilitate and encourage public-private partnerships to promote and advance the physical and cybersecurity of electric utilities that have fewer resources due to size or region. H.R. 5240 would also direct DOE to assess priorities, policies, procedures, and actions for enhancing the physical and cybersecurity of electric distribution systems.