Press Release

#SubEnergy to Examine Legislation to Modernize DOE’s Ability to Address Energy Emergencies and Cybersecurity Threats


WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Energy, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), yesterday announced a hearing for Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at 10 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “DOE Modernization: Legislation Addressing Cybersecurity and Emergency Response.”

Building on the committee’s work to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure, next week, #SubEnergy will examine four bills to enhance the Department of Energy’s ability  to address energy supply emergencies and cybersecurity threats to the energy sector, including pipelines and the electric grid.  Part of the committee’s ‘DOE Modernization’ series, the hearing will focus on strengthening DOE’s ability to carry out a core energy security function. As the sector-specific agency for energy, DOE is responsible for coordinating with multiple federal and state agencies and for providing informational and technical assistance to energy infrastructure owners and operators to ensure the supply and delivery of energy necessary for public health and welfare.

“The increasingly interconnected nature of our energy systems are changing how we prepare for and respond to emergencies that threaten the supply of energy,” said #SubEnergy Chairman Upton. “This committee must lead when it comes to providing the Department of Energy with the tools it needs to address threats to the physical and cybersecurity of the nation’s energy infrastructure. I’m looking forward to receiving feedback from both our members and witnesses on these bills and on what other measures may be necessary to ensure DOE is capable of fulfilling its missions to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.”

#SubEnergy will examine the following bills:

H.R. 5174, Energy Emergency Leadership Act, authored by committee members Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and #SubEnergy Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-IL), would:

  • Update the Department of Energy Organization Act to include energy emergency and energy security functions which the secretary shall assign to an assistant secretary;
  • Provide that these functions include responsibilities with respect to infrastructure, cybersecurity, emerging threats, supply and emergency planning, coordination, response, and restoration; and,
  • Provide that these functions include the provision of technical assistance, and response capabilities with respect to energy security threats, risks, and incidents to state, local, and tribal governments in the energy sector.

H.R 5175, Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, authored by #SubEnergy Chairman Upton and committee member Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA), would:

  • Require the secretary 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;
  • Authorize DOE to coordinate response and recovery to physical and cyber incidents impacting the energy sector and develop advanced cybersecurity applications and technologies; and,
  • Allow DOE to perform pilot demonstration projects and develop workforce development curricula relating to physical and cybersecurity to help the energy sector evaluate, prioritize, and improve physical and cybersecurity capabilities.

H.R. 5239, Cyber Sense Act, authored by #SubDCCP Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), would:

  • Establish a voluntary DOE program that identifies and promotes cyber-secure products intended for use in the bulk-power system, including products related to industrial control systems; and,
  • 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, also authored by Reps. McNerney and Latta, would:

  • Require DOE to establish a program to facilitate and encourage public-private partnerships to promote and advance physical and cybersecurity of electric utilities that have fewer available resources due to size or region;
  • Allow DOE to coordinate with state regulators to study priorities, policies, procedures, and actions for enhancing the physical and cybersecurity of electric distribution system; and,
  • Direct DOE to update a program designed to assist electric grid planners at utilities, government organizations, and other entities with estimating interruption costs and benefits associated with infrastructure improvements.

To learn more about the committee’s ‘DOE Modernization’ series, click HERE.

The Majority Memorandum, legislative text, witness list and testimony, and live webcast can be found online HERE


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