WASHINGTON (April 9, 2009) -- Today, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding the escalating cyber breaches threatening to compromise the electricity grid. This week, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation released the results of an industry survey which revealed that many of the grid’s critical facilities, systems, and equipment have not yet even been identified. In addition, recent reports have indicated that foreign agents have used the internet to systematically map the vulnerabilities of the electricity grid to cyber attack.

Rep. Markey said, “As our electricity grid becomes more advanced, increasing our energy security must include protecting against cyber threats that could compromise America’s energy infrastructure. Vulnerabilities to our electricity generation and transmission systems endanger every American, and we must move as quickly as we can to defend ourselves from what could be a debilitating weakness. These threats develop and change extremely quickly, which means that our defenses must be sophisticated and agile. If there are holes in the government’s ability to protect the electricity grid from attack I am committed to doing everything necessary to improving FERC’s ability to defend against these threats.”

The Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment has jurisdiction over the Federal Electricity Regulatory Commission, and national energy policy generally.

A copy of the letter can be found here.