WASHINGTON August 6, 2010 – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has approved legislation that gives the Secretary of Energy the power to issue orders regarding threats to the electric grid.
With the expansion of the Smart Grid many stakeholders have become worried about potential cyber threats to the grid.
Previously the authority to deal with these cyber threats was to be given to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission but that bill did not pass the House. The Senate version will soon be discussed in the House.
By giving a single person the authority to act, the Senate committee feels that the response will be faster and more direct.
"Both the House and the Senate developed thoughtful, and needed, cyber bills which address many of the same issues," said Bill Wicker, spokesman for Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) "We think that the Senate’s version is more likely to move more quickly on this side of the Capitol. And that is our main objective — to have Congress act quickly on this critically important issue."