Two bills intended to safeguard the nation’s energy infrastructure from cyberattacks were introduced this week.
Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., on July 11 introduced the Enhancing State Energy Security Planning and Emergency Preparedness Act and the Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act.
The first legislation empowers the Energy Department to provide financial assistance to states to create or update a plan that proposes how they can protect their energy grids from physical and digital attacks. The framework would also assess the states’ current security posture.
The second legislation directs the Energy Department to provide physical and cybersecurity support to electric utilities with limited resources as well as submit a report addressing physical and cybersecurity vulnerabilities in electricity distribution systems.
“Colorado and states across the country need to secure our energy grids and be better prepared against cyber-attacks that threaten our critical infrastructure,” Gardner said in a release. “I’ve worked with Senator Bennet on these bipartisan pieces of legislation because we both know the risk cyber-attacks pose to our country and the need for leadership on these issues. This legislation will help shore up our electric grid’s vulnerabilities. I look forward to working with my colleagues to gather more bipartisan support and see these bills signed into law.”