Markey Calls For Congressional Action to Protect Electric Grid from Cyberattack

In House of Reps., lawmaker led passage of Bipartisan GRID Act to address vulnerabilities in grid security

Washington (February 12, 2014) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today called for swift Congressional action to address the threat of cyberattack to our nation's electrical grid after President Obama announced through Executive Action a series of voluntary standards for industry. In March 2013, Senator Markey and Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) released a report revealing that the lengthy, industry-driven process by which grid security standards are set results in long delays and haphazard implementation of the voluntary security recommendations the industry refuses to make mandatory. 

 

"The electric grid's vulnerability to attack from terrorists and rogue states is one of the greatest threats to our nation's security," said Senator Markey. "President Obama has taken a good first step to recommend voluntary measures to protect our critical systems from cyberattack, but Congress must do more. Congress must act to put in place strong, mandatory standards, including providing FERC the authority to issue grid security orders or rules when industry has not adequately addressed known vulnerabilities or threats. Only then will we have girded the electric grid from the cyberattacks that could devastate our banking, health care and defense systems."

In order to respond to growing cyber threats, in 2010 Senator Markey and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) introduced the bipartisan GRID Act to strengthen grid security. The legislation passed the House, but the Senate did not act. 

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