May 12, 2021 / Energy/Environment | Infrastructure

McMorris Rodgers Leads Bipartisan Solutions to Enhance Cybersecurity for U.S. Energy Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. (May 12, 2021) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) is leading on the Energy and Commerce Committee with the introduction of several bipartisan energy bills designed to secure America’s energy infrastructure, including her Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act. The introduction of this legislation comes just days after the Colonial Pipeline cybersecurity attack. 

“The Colonial Pipeline cyberattack and the ripple effects being felt now in Eastern Washington are sharp reminders of just how deeply we rely upon our energy infrastructure every day, and just how crucial it is that we invest in modernizing and protecting it,” Rodgers said. “As Lead Republican of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I am determined to protect our nation’s energy infrastructure and pipelines for reliable energy and low gas prices across our communities.

“This is a matter of national security, and we must work together in a bipartisan way to strengthen our energy infrastructure, including by enhancing security and resiliency of our pipelines, LNG facilities, and electric grid. These bipartisan cybersecurity solutions are ready to become law and should be enacted immediately to prevent future attacks from taking place.”

Also today, Cathy received a briefing from the Department of Energy on the Colonial Pipeline Disruption, and she plans to stay in contact with department officials until the issue is resolved. Below is a statement she released with the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee Frank Pallone:

“Today DOE Deputy Secretary David Turk briefed Energy and Commerce Committee members on the Colonial Pipeline cybersecurity attack and the impact its closure is having across the country. DOE is the right agency to be coordinating this government-wide effort. We learned that while there is good reason to be hopeful that the shortages will be temporary and pipeline deliveries may soon ramp up, there is more we need to do to ensure DOE has the tools it needs to prevent these incidents in the future – and minimize their impact if they do.  We will continue to work closely with DOE in their efforts to help bring the pipeline back online quickly and safely.

“Members of our Committee have worked together in a bipartisan fashion for years to strengthen the security of our energy infrastructure. We’re committed to continuing that tradition now as we work to get meaningful improvements enacted into law. That’s why we are original cosponsors of the Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act led by Representatives Bobby Rush and Fred Upton. It would directly help DOE respond to physical and cyber threats to our pipeline and LNG facilities, like in the case of Colonial. This attack and ongoing outage simply underscore the vulnerabilities we have highlighted, and how crucial it is that Congress act to enhance DOE’s cybersecurity authorities so that an incident like this does not happen again.”

NOTE: As Lead Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rodgers is working with top bipartisan leaders on the Committee on four bipartisan bills to secure America’s critical energy infrastructure, including pipelines:

  • The Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act (HR 3278), introduced by Fred Upton (R-MI) and Bobby Rush (D-IL), to strengthen the Department of Energy’s ability to respond to physical and cybersecurity threats to our nation’s pipelines and LNG facilities; 
  • The Energy Emergency Leadership Act (HR 3119), introduced by Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Tim Walberg (R-MI), to help elevate energy emergency and cybersecurity responsibilities as a core function for the Department of Energy; 
  • The Cyber Sense Act (HR 2928), introduced by Bob Latta (R-OH) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA), to bolster U.S. electric infrastructure by encouraging coordination between the Department of Energy and electric utilities; 
  • The Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act (HR 2931), introduced by Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Bob Latta (R-OH), to direct the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with States, other Federal agencies, and industry stakeholders, to create and implement a program to enhance the physical and cyber security of electric utilities. 

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