Panel Approves Grid Security Act
The Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act would direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take measures to protect the electricity grid from telecommunications intrusions.
Legislation that would
protect the nation's electricity grid from attacks passed passed the Energy and Environment
Subcommittee March 24. The GRID Act (Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense
Act) passed on a unanimous voice vote by the subcommittee.
The GRID Act would direct the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to take measures to protect the electricity grid from telecommunications intrusions and follows a March 23 subcommittee hearing with all of the Commissioners of FERC. The commissioners emphasized the gravity of the threat America's grid faces and the inadequacy of existing law to deal with this threat. Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and others heard the same message during a classified briefing held last month.
"Right now, our electrical grid is vulnerable to threats from terrorists and hostile countries. Our adversaries have motive, intent, and the capacity to exploit these weaknesses," Markey said in a statement. "Every one of our nation's critical systems - water, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation, law enforcement, and financial services - depends on the grid."
The bill now heads to the full Energy and Commerce Committee.