Bi-partisan GRID Act Would Protect Electricity System Against Attacks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bi-partisan legislation co-authored by Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) that would protect our nation’s electricity grid from attacks today passed the Energy and Commerce Committee and will now head to the House of Representatives for a vote. The Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act (GRID Act) passed by a unanimous 47-0 vote in the committee.

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,” said Rep. Markey, Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, which passed the first version of the bill in late March. “Every one of our nation’s critical systems – water, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation, law enforcement, and financial services – depends on the grid.”

The GRID Act would direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take measures to protect the electricity grid from telecommunications intrusions.

In March, the subcommittee held a hearing with all of the Commissioners of FERC to discuss this important issue. The commissioners emphasized the gravity of the threat America’s grid faces and the inadequacy of existing law to deal with this threat. Chairman Markey and others heard the same message during a classified briefing held last fall.

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