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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

King urges action on bill to protect energy infrastructure from cyber attacks

U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) urged the Senate on Tuesday to move forward with his legislation that seeks to protect critical U.S.-based energy infrastructure from a potential catastrophic cyber-attack.

King urged his colleagues to take action on the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act of 2016 in a hearing by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy.

“This is a very straight forward bill, and it does grow out – to some extent – of the experience in Ukraine where they found that they had analog and human intervention at certain key points,” King said. “This is a recognition that, with all of our sophistication, comes additional vulnerability. And what we’re attempting to do today is to talk about and work on – on a pilot basis, and on a voluntary basis for the utilities – some unconventional solutions to this vulnerability challenge. I do not want to go home to Maine after a disastrous attack somewhere in the United States on our critical infrastructure and explain that we didn’t try.”

The bill was introduced with U.S. Sens. Jim Risch (R-ID), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and seeks to examine solutions to defend the U.S. energy grid by replacing key devices like computer-connected operating systems that are vulnerable to cyber attacks with analog and human-operated systems.