WASHINGTON, DC —The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced legislation that would devote hundreds of millions of dollars to securing the nation’s power grid.
The Protecting Resources on the Electric Grid with Cybersecurity Technology (PROTECT) Act seeks to create a federal grant to strengthen small utilities companies’ cyber protections on infrastructure.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Joe Manchin, D-W.V., James Risch, R-Idaho, Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Angus King, I-Maine introduced the bill that was passed by the committee.
“Our electric grid is increasingly exposed to potentially devastating cyber and physical attacks,” Senentor Joe Manchin said. “The PROTECT Act would create key incentives to expand utilization of advanced cybersecurity tools amongst our power generators to increase our security posture.”
The bill carves out $250 million dollars for four years between 2020 and 2024.
The committee also approved Energy Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette to replace Secretary Rick Perry, who is leaving the department at the end of the year.