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House Passes Rep. Bera’s Legislation to Protect Electric Grid from Cyberattacks and Natural Disasters

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today passed Representative Ami Bera’s (D-CA) Grid Security Research and Development Act to protect the country’s electric grid from cyberattacks and natural disasters.

“A strong and secure electric grid is critical to our health, economy, and national defense,” said Rep. Bera, who serves as Vice Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. “However, our electric grid has become more vulnerable to cyberattacks that threaten essential health care, banking, and defense systems. In addition, our electric grid is increasingly susceptible to natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes that are intensified by climate change. This year has been no exception. In California, the threat of year-round wildfires has led to widespread power outages that have had a devastating impact on our communities and local economies. I’m proud the House of Representatives passed my commonsense bill to build resilient communities and protect against future cyberattacks and natural disasters.”

The Grid Security Research and Development Act authorizes a comprehensive, coordinated research effort to advance cybersecurity capabilities for the energy sector across Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Science Foundation. The bill also authorizes the DOE to develop technologies to enhance the resilience of the electric grid and to improve relevant emergency response and management activities, including the development of technologies to withstand the impacts of climate change and extreme weather on energy sector infrastructure.

Last week, the House passed the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act which included a Bera amendment directing the Secretary of Energy to support research and development on tools and technologies for improving the electric grid and energy sector safety and resilience during concurrent or co-located severe weather events, such as extreme wind, wildfires, and extreme heat.

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