Letter - Energy Updates

E&C Republicans Condemn Granholm for Pro-CCP Comments, Demand She Testify Immediately

Washington, D.C. — In response to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s recent pro-China comments , House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans, led by Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Energy, Climate, & Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC), and Environment, Manufacturing, & Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH) sent a letter urging Granholm’s immediate retraction of the remarks and demanding that she make plans to appear before the Committee as soon as possible to account for them.   Excerpts and highlights from the letter to Secretary Granholm:  “ We are deeply troubled by your recent public comments praising China for its supposed efforts to address climate change risks, as they raise serious questions about your judgment and priorities as Secretary of Energy.     “China poses one of the greatest economic, military, and geopolitical threats to the United States, while continuing to be one of the world’s worst polluters.  As the Secretary of Energy, your core responsibilities involve national security, particularly maintaining and certifying the reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent and protecting our most sensitive technological secrets from theft by our chief adversaries, Russia and China.    “At the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, this past week, you stated in an interview that China has been ‘very sensitive’ about addressing climate risks, that ‘we can all learn from what China is doing,’ and that you find China’s clean energy investments ‘encouraging.’  These are alarming comments that, at best, reflect an uninformed, unserious perspective on the goals and intentions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its abysmal human rights and environmental record.   “We write to request that you immediately retract these pro-China statements and that you make plans to appear before the Committee as soon as possible to account for these statements and explain your priorities as Secretary of Energy.   “Instead of acclaiming China and the CCP and amplifying its propaganda, let’s join together in exposing the dangers of our growing dependence upon China for energy, transportation, and technology systems. Let’s join together to safeguard American technology from the CCP’s relentless efforts to steal and exploit our innovations for its military and economic agenda.  “We are deeply concerned that the rush-to-green agenda of this administration, which you are leading to implement, is putting the United States on a perilous path in which the energy that powers our homes, businesses, and livelihoods will run straight through China with critical minerals supply chains. Plus, this administration’s constant promotion of mandates and subsidies to electrify our transportation systems will result in American mobility controlled with components and materials from China. Meanwhile, the CCP continues to build and utilize coal-fired power plants at home and abroad to further spread its influence, while increasing its carbon emissions.  “Russia’s attack of Ukraine exposed the energy vulnerabilities of Europe. Much of Europe had abandoned its firm power sources like nuclear energy and coal-fired power plants, refused to take advantage of its natural gas resources after succumbing to Russian anti-fracking propaganda, and instead become reliant upon natural gas from Russia.    “We fear that this administration—with its anti-fossil fuel policies—is marching the United States toward the same position of energy vulnerability, only with China holding the keys to America’s energy security. Comments like the ones you made this past week are only advantageous to the CCP’s agenda, which aims to dominate the United States on all fronts.  “China has been termed the OPEC of green energy materials. Yet, China’s overall share of the energy minerals processing actually surpasses OPEC’s 34% share of oil markets—40% for copper, 70% for cobalt and lithium, about 90% for rare earth minerals. We must reverse this dangerous trend and secure our energy materials supplies.    “Our staff have been in discussions with your staff about scheduling your appearance before the Committee to justify DOE’s budget and discuss the Department’s policies. In light of your recent comments, we expect you to make yourself available to the Committee to testify immediately.”  CLICK HERE to read the full letter.  

E&C Republicans Demand Accountability on Biden’s Massive Spending and Inflation Agenda

American People Deserve Full Accounting of Funds   Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA), along with the chairs of the subcommittee of jurisdiction, today wrote letters to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Energy (DOE), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), requesting a full accounting of how they’ve spent taxpayer dollars. KEY LETTER EXCERPT : “Over the past two years, under one-party, Democratic rule, Congress and the Biden administration have spent trillions of dollars across the federal government. Beginning with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and most recently with the so-called Inflation Reduction Act (IRA),  Democrats have funneled an excessive amount of taxpayer dollars to advance their radical, progressive agenda and to benefit their political allies. The American people deserve a full, transparent, and regular accounting of the funds  that have been spent, where the funds have gone, who has benefited, and how much remains.”  The Chairs specifically requested funding information from: ARPA, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the CHIPS and Science Act, and the IRA, including but not limited to:  1. The total amount of funding from each Act that has been obligated to date. 2. A list of each financial award funded, in part or in full, by these laws, including the following information for each award: a.    All recipients for which funding has been expended. b.    All recipients for which funding has been obligated. c.     The amount of funding that has been obligated for each recipient. d.    A description of the project funded. e.    The type of award (i.e., grant, loan, etc.). 3. The number, job title, compensation, and duties of any employees, contractors, or consultants who have been hired or engaged using the funding, in whole or in part. 4. An accounting of the funds that have not yet been obligated. CLICK HERE  to read the letter from Chairs Rodgers and Griffith and Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm regarding more the than $100 billion above annual appropriations and the more than 60 new programs created with little Congressional scrutiny of long-term taxpayer risks.  CLICK HERE  to read the letter from Chairs Rodgers and Griffith and Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra requesting information related to:  The IRA’s Implementation Fund designed to carry out the law’s drug pricing provisions  The Provider Relief Fund has had $178 billion appropriated into it  Vaccine Education Funding, which includes more than a billion dollars  Funding appropriated COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics, Testing, and Supplies, which the Biden administration rerouted billions to other programs—like housing illegal immigrants at the border—before asking Congress for additional resources  CLICK HERE   to read the letter from Chairs Rodgers and Griffith and Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel requesting information related to:  $98 million to implement the Broadband DATA Act, as well as the status of the broadband map development   $450 million for the COVID-19 telehealth program $3.2 billion for the Emergency Broadband Benefit   $7.17 billion for the Emergency Connectivity Fund program  $14.2 billion for the Affordable Broadband Benefit  CLICK HERE   to read the letter from Chairs Rodgers, Griffith and Latta to NTIA Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson requesting information related to: $300 million for the Broadband Infrastructure Program  $3 billion for tribal broadband deployment  $285 million for the Connecting Minority Communities Program $42.45 billion for the Broadband, Equity, Accessibility, and Deployment (BEAD) Program $2.75 billion for digital equity grants $1 billion for middle mile infrastructure

Feb 23, 2023
Press Release

E&C GOP Chairs Lay Out Expectations for Biden Agency Cooperation

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chair Bob Latta (R-OH), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Jeff Duncan (R-SC) wrote to the heads of the Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Commerce laying out expectations for intergovernmental cooperation regarding oversight. As Chair Rodgers said in the full committee markup of Energy and Commerce’s Authorization and Oversight Plan for the 118th Congress, “We have a responsibility to conduct oversight to get answers on behalf of those we serve and to ensure accountability so the government is responsive to the American people.” The members outline the below seven principles for each agency or department to comply with Congressional requests and provide answers the American people deserve. 1. For all requests or questions, please reproduce the requests or questions presented in a written letter with the department or agency response. 2. In the spirit of comity and inter-branch accommodation, your department or agency should endeavor to cooperate as much as possible with committee oversight requests. If your department or agency has determined it will not voluntarily cooperate with the requests, please provide electronic written notice within two business days specifying which requests you are declining to cooperate with and the stated reasons for voluntary noncooperation. 3. Your department or agency should make a determination on whether certain requests cannot be fulfilled as presented. Provide electronic written notice within one business week of receipt of the request about such determinations, stating the reasons why. If there is an alternative approach that could address the Committee’s request, then such an alternative approach should be suggested in the interests of comity and inter-branch accommodation. 4. If the department or agency needs clarification about a Committee request, your staff should make good faith efforts to contact Committee staff for assistance as soon as possible. 5. We expect your department or agency to provide a written response to our oversight requests within two weeks of receipt of the letter. If the department or agency needs additional time to respond to Committee requests, your staff should make good faith efforts to contact Committee staff for assistance as soon as possible. 6. If your department or agency has determined that certain requested documents cannot be produced pursuant to a privilege or other legal basis, your department or agency should submit an index of the withheld documents and the privilege asserted within two business weeks of receipt of the request letter. 7. If your department has determined that a requested witness cannot be made available pursuant to a privilege or other legal basis, your department or agency should submit in writing an explanation of the privilege or other legal basis asserted within two business weeks of receipt of the request letter. CLICK HERE to view the letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. CLICK HERE to view the letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. CLICK HERE to view the letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan. CLICK HERE to view the letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Jan 17, 2023
In the News

ICYMI: E&C Republicans Turn Up the Heat and Demand Biden Stop Efforts to Ban Gas Stoves

President Biden wants to control every aspect of our lives—from what kind of cars we can drive, how we can heat our homes, and now how we’re allowed to cook food for our families. Last week, it was reported that the Biden administration is looking to ban gas stoves from American homes across the country. This is just the latest in a long line of power grabs by the radical Left. It's not about public safety, but rather about telling the American people the federal government knows what’s best. Nearly 35% of homes in the U.S. – more than 40 million Americans – use a natural gas stove. That’s why Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and 86 of her House Republican colleagues sent a letter to President Biden demanding the administration reverse any attempts to ban gas stoves. Chair Rodgers also sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) echoing these concerns.  Highlights and excerpts from the Fox Business exclusive coverage on the letter to President Biden : Furious lawmakers are calling on President Biden to cease any efforts by his administration to ban natural gas stoves inside Americans' homes. Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to the president Friday writing in "strong opposition" to reported efforts by regulators to ban natural gas appliances. "This kind of intrusion into the homes of Americans by the federal government as a way of forcing rush-to-green, liberal policies is the ‘nanny state’ at its worst," the Republicans wrote. "Banning natural gas stoves is not about public safety – it is another example of government control; like other policies we have seen from your administration, to tell Americans what kinds of cars they can drive, how they heat their homes, and how to live their lives." The Biden administration caused an uproar over gas stoves earlier this week after a commissioner on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggested regulators were considering banning the appliance due to health and safety concerns. From E&E News : House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) is already making plans to bring the issue before her committee. “I’m quite concerned,” Rodgers told E&E News. “I think we need to dig into this more and probably bring them in and ask some questions.” CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’ January 11th statement on President Biden’s plan to ban gas stoves. CLICK HERE to read House Republicans’ January 13th letter to President Biden. CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’ January 13th letter to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric.

Nov 30, 2022
Letter - Energy

Rodgers, Barrasso Press DOE about Damage Caused by Biden’s SPR Drawdowns

Washington, D.C. —  U.S. House Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Republican Leader John Barrasso (R-WY) sent a letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm raising concerns about potential damage to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) due to President Biden’s unprecedented drawdowns and DOE’s mismanagement of the national security asset. Barrasso serves as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. McMorris Rodgers serves as ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. In the letter, the committee leaders request answers and documentation for all damages and increased maintenance requirements resulting from the recent drawdowns. They also highlight the importance of the SPR’s energy security mission and the need for DOE to develop long-term plans to maintain and operate the reserve. Read the full letter  here  and below. “Dear Secretary Granholm, “We write to you with concerns regarding President Biden’s unprecedented drawdown of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which has depleted our national security asset to the lowest level since 1984. As Secretary of Energy, you have overseen the largest SPR drawdown in history, selling more than 245 million barrels since President Biden’s first day in office. This has occurred as gas prices remain high and supply chain shortages continue to plague our economy. Instead of unleashing American energy production, you have depleted our strategic stockpile while failing to establish long-term plans for the optimal size, configuration, maintenance, and operational capabilities of the reserve. “We are also concerned that the rapid depletion of the SPR may have caused damage to the SPR’s pipelines and caverns, compromising its ability to meet its energy security mission in the event of a true energy supply interruption. As you know, the SPR consists of subterranean salt caverns filled with oil, and a complex system of wells, pipelines, and pumps that use water and brine to direct the flow of oil to where it is needed. Each drawdown has the potential to degrade the SPR’s storage and distribution capabilities as pressurization, corrosion, and consequences of repeated use erode the SPR’s physical integrity. “In 2015, Congress required the Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct a long-term strategic review of the SPR and authorized an investment of $1.4 billion to conduct an SPR modernization program. We were disappointed to learn that the modernization program, known as Life Extension II, was recently put on hold by DOE, resulting in critical delays and cost overruns. “President Biden’s unprecedented and unwarranted drawdowns, and the Administration’s overt crusade against the oil and gas industry, undermines the country’s energy security and, by extension, its national security. Your continued mismanagement of the SPR will leave our nation even more susceptible to true energy supply disruptions and leave us vulnerable to our greatest geopolitical adversaries. “We ask that you answer the following questions, and provide the requested documentation below, no later than December 12, 2022. Has the Biden administration conducted a full assessment of the integrity of SPR facilities to include both current use and future need? Please describe all damage and increased maintenance requirements, including well remediation, cavern closure, and both pipeline and pump replacements, that has occurred as a result of the drawdown. Have any SPR caverns collapsed or been closed temporarily or permanently as a result of the recent drawdowns? Does the Biden administration intend to close down any caverns or sites as a result of the SPR’s depletion? If so, which ones and over what time period? What is the current status of Life Extension II? Is it behind schedule? Specifically, has its completion fallen further behind schedule as a result of the SPR’s recent drawdowns? If the Biden administration does refill the SPR, will the construction of new caverns and other infrastructure be required? In the event SPR refills commence, will an equal volume of oil be bought that was sold? Has the SPR faced physical or cyber security threats to any of its facilities? If so, please describe to include dates when the incidents occurred and the resolution. Additionally, please list all local, state, and federal partner agencies who assisted in mitigation efforts. Please provide all Department correspondence to include studies and assessments pertaining to the SPR’s structural integrity as related to President Biden’s SPR drawdowns. Please provide all Department records related to future SPR cavern development and acquisition. “We look forward to your prompt response.”

Nov 8, 2022
Letter - Energy

Rodgers, Barrasso Request Accountability Review of Illicit Technology Transfers to China

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-WY) sent a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) urging the agency to review the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Technology transfer activities to ensure they are working in the best interest of the American people—not helping adversaries like China. Excerpts and highlights from the letter to the GAO: “Every year, the Department of Energy (DOE) oversees investments of billions of federal dollars in research and development to advance the economic, energy, and national security interests of the nation.  This work is conducted across DOE research and production facilities and its national laboratory system, which is at the forefront of technology development and maturation, and which spurs innovation and benefits American competitiveness and security.  To help ensure that taxpayer-funded technologies developed by DOE can be commercialized to the benefit of the nation, the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) develops and oversees the Department’s commercialization programs and engagement with business and industrial sectors across the United States. “While OTT’s mission is important, it is also essential that potential technology transfers be scrutinized to ensure that taxpayer-funded technologies are not transferred to foreign companies that will ultimately move jobs overseas and use U.S. technology breakthroughs to compete against U.S. industry. This point is underscored by a recent DOE review of licensing of breakthrough battery technology—developed through taxpayer-funded research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and from the state of Washington—following news reporting that the laboratory allowed the technology license to be transferred to a Chinese company.  The review found a lack of internal controls and effective management of the licensing at the laboratory. It also identified the need to assess research security and technology transfer policy and oversight across the DOE enterprise to address commercial and security risks. “To protect U.S. investment in leading technologies and U.S. manufacturing jobs, it is essential to make transparent whether DOE’s technology transfer activities are working in the interest of the American people, and not in support of America’s adversaries. Accordingly, we write to request that the Government Accountability Office undertake a broad review of DOE’s technology transfer and intellectual property protection activities. “Specifically, we request that GAO evaluate DOE’s technology transfer program and its implementation across the DOE enterprise, with specific focus on the controls in place to protect taxpayer-funded technologies from foreign transfer. We believe this is particularly important with respect to technologies that have been identified as critical and emerging. “Further, we request that GAO evaluate the tools available to the government to monitor critical and emerging technologies funded by DOE that have already transferred to U.S. companies to guard against their potential later acquisition by or transfer to foreign companies or countries. A review of this nature should include a full exploration of how DOE enforces the terms of its laboratories’ licenses. “We appreciate your assistance in this DOE management oversight effort, which is important to strengthening U.S. competitiveness by helping to ensure that taxpayer-funded critical and emerging technologies are of maximum benefit to the people who funded their development.” CLICK HERE  to read the full letter.

Oct 14, 2022

E&C Republicans Urge EPA Not to Shortcut Review of Proposed Air Quality Standards to Avoid Destroying Local Economies

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Republican Leader David McKinley (R-WV), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan requesting that any effort by the EPA to revise national air quality standards—particularly, PM2.5 standards—must ensure ample time for public comment and evaluate whether any changes clearly improve public health.  Excerpts and highlights from the letter to EPA Administrator Regan: EPA MUST PROVIDE BETTER REGULATORY CERTAINTY:  “Less than two years ago, EPA, pursuant to Clean Air Act requirements, completed an exhaustive review of the PM2.5 standards, concluding that existing standards protect public health with an adequate margin of safety. However, just six months later, in June 2021, you directed the agency to review that decision. We understand EPA recently submitted the resulting reconsideration proposal to the White House for interagency review. “When EPA seeks public comment on that proposal, you should ensure the agency follows its own past precedents as well as requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act to accept comment on retaining the existing standards. Furthermore, we believe you should ensure the public has at least 90 days to submit comments once any proposal is published.” […] “EPA’s reconsideration of the 2020 PM2.5 standard comes at a time of ongoing improvements to air quality. EPA, states, and the regulated community have successfully worked together to slash PM2.5 emissions, resulting in a 37% improvement in related air quality since 2000. These emissions reductions will continue under existing programs without changes to the PM2.5 standard.” PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH, JOBS, AND THE ECONOMY: “Lowering the standard will create a regulatory burden that undermines community business investment, reduces tax revenue that support local schools and first and frontline responders, and effectively hamstrings efforts to overcome tough economic times. These impacts reverberate to every part of the country already reeling from a recession.” […] “Moreover, the consequences of lowering PM2.5 standards extend even to areas meeting those standards. New projects and major expansions in these areas require permits demonstrating that they will not exceed the standards. Manufacturing businesses trying to make such demonstrations are already pinched between PM2.5 standards set near levels of emissions that naturally occur or are transported from other countries, and EPA modeling designed to over predict PM2.5 concentrations. Lowering PM2.5 standards further would eliminate the small margin left for manufacturers and to obtain the necessary approvals for new, state-of-the-art projects. This could force companies operating in areas meeting PM2.5 standards to install controls even more costly than those required in areas that fail them – or to simply not build at all.” BOTTOMLINE: “Changes to the PM2.5 standards should therefore clearly improve public health – especially with PM2.5 emissions already on a continuing, downward trajectory. It is critical, then, for EPA’s reconsideration to get the science and the rulemaking process right. That requires accepting comment on the full range of issues, including retaining existing standards, and providing stakeholders sufficient time, at least 90 days, to file comments.” CLICK HERE  to read the full letter.

Oct 11, 2022

E&C Republicans Vow Strict Oversight Over Massive DOE Loan Guarantee Program

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Upton (R-MI), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA) are vowing vigorous oversight over the implementation of Department of Energy’s (DOE) loan programs, which Democrats expanded in their massive tax and spending sprees. The Energy and Commerce Republicans warn that $450 billion in new spending and loans for President Biden to achieve his radical energy transition is at significant risk of waste, fraud, and abuse. As Leader Rodgers says, it’s “ Solyndra on steroids .” She added, “The hardworking people of this country are paying for record high energy and food prices because of President Biden’s war on American energy. They cannot afford for him to waste hundreds of billions of dollars on a political agenda that forces an expensive ‘green’ energy transition, threatens energy reliability, increases costs, and makes America reliant on the Chinese Communist Party for batteries and solar panels. Energy and Commerce Republicans will hold DOE accountable for every cent spent to ensure taxpayer dollars are not wasted and the American people are protected.” KEY EXCERPT FROM THE E&C GOP LETTER:  “We write with regard to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) implementation of new programs and spending authority provided in the reconciliation legislation enacted this past August and the infrastructure legislation enacted in November 2021.  All told, these two spending laws, enacted in less than a year and with little Congressional scrutiny of long-term taxpayer risks, appropriated more than $100 billion to the Department for use across its applied energy, electricity, and efficiency programs and provided new authorities for $350 billion in loan guarantees.” […] “The scope and scale of this expanded loan authority, related credit subsidies, and rapid four-year timeline for making commitments, raise questions about increased risks of waste, fraud and abuse, especially if the administration uses the program for its rush-to-green agenda.  Under the Obama administration, DOE’s loan program failed to put taxpayer interests first, and the Secretary allowed a political agenda to take over decision-making.” To best oversee the DOE’s loan programs, the Members are asking Sec. Granholm to provide information to the Committee by October 25, 2022, including: Provide a list of all current loan and loan guarantees in the Loan Program Office portfolio, including the specific borrowers, the statutory program under which commitment for loan or loan guarantee was made, technology sector, project status, disbursement status, repayment status, and any information pertinent to the current ability of the borrowers to repay the loans. Provide a list of all open funding and financing opportunities, by statutory category, and include the number of applicants and technology in each category, including whether the applicants seek guarantees for first-of-a-kind technology. Explain what the Department has done to address the four major risk areas to the Loan Program identified by the DOE Inspector General Special Report issued this past June 7, 2022. Explain the Department review process for loan guarantee decisions, including for approval by the Secretary, and the role of independent departmental reviews and risk oversight. Identify specific measures or requirements the Department implements to ensure loan guarantees will protect intellectual property, and not subsidize loss of intellectual property to China or other American adversaries. CLICK HERE  to read the letter to Secretary Granholm.

Aug 10, 2022

E&C Bipartisan Leaders Request Briefings to Address Ongoing Efforts to Strengthen U.S. Government Network Security

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and Subcommittee Leaders sent letters to the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency requesting briefings to address concerns about how the U.S. government is identifying and mitigating potential compromises to its network security.  Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Subcommittee Chairwoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH), Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Republican Leader Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Subcommittee Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Upton (R-MI), Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush (D-IL), Environment and Climate Change Republican Leader David McKinley (R-WV), Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY), Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) also joined in sending the letters to the federal agencies.  Excerpts and highlights from the letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm:  “Secretary Granholm:   “We write to request a briefing from your department related to the recent open-source software vulnerability—Apache Log4j. The ubiquitous nature of this vulnerability and the hundreds of thousands of known exploits since its disclosure raise concerns about how the U.S. government is identifying and mitigating potential compromises to its network security.”   […]   “On December 11, 2021, CISA Director Jen Easterly stated that ‘this vulnerability, which is being widely exploited by a growing set of threat actors, presents an urgent challenge to network defenders given its broad use.’ She later added, ‘[t]o be clear, this vulnerability poses a severe risk. We will only minimize potential impacts through collaborative efforts between government and the private sector.’”   […]   “Over the past several years, the Committee has done extensive work on cyber threats, including hearings and investigations examining the information-security programs and controls over key computer systems and networks at multiple agencies under the Committee’s jurisdiction.  Because the Log4j vulnerability is widespread and can affect enterprise applications, embedded systems, and their sub-components, the Committee is seeking to gain a comprehensive understanding of the scope of the vulnerability and actions being taken to mitigate its effects. The risk to federal network security is especially concerning because nation-state threat actors have attempted to exploit this Log4j vulnerability.   “Accordingly, we request a staff briefing to discuss your department’s response to the Log4j vulnerability by August 10, 2022, including the following questions:  When did your department first learn of the Log4j vulnerability?  When did your department first learn of the Log4j vulnerability?  What specific actions has your department taken in response to CISA’s guidance in December 2021 and subsequent directive on April 8, 2022, regarding the Log4j vulnerability?   What tools does your department employ to detect all instances of the Log4j vulnerability on your networks? What is your department’s schedule for identifying the Log4j vulnerability?  Does your department employ software that utilizes Apache Log4j? If so, how many software products employed by the department include the Log4j vulnerability?   Has your department been impacted by a compromise or exploitation of the Log4j vulnerability? If so, when was your department first compromised, when did you detect the compromise, what was the extent of the compromise, and how did the department address the compromise?   What incident alert thresholds does your department have for potential compromises generally, and what are your requirements for escalating and reporting anomalies?  Does your department have a specific plan to identify and remediate, on an ongoing basis, software that it uses to ensure the department is not currently using software vulnerable to a cyber threat?”  CLICK HERE to read the letter to the Department of Commerce.   CLICK HERE to read the letter to the Department of Energy.   CLICK HERE to read the letter to the Department of Health and Human Services.   CLICK HERE to read the letter to the Environmental Protection Agency.   CLICK HERE to read the letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.