Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio) have introduced two bills that aim to protect the U.S. electric infrastructure from cyber threats.
The Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act would require the Department of Energy to advance public-private partnerships and facilitate data collection and sharing of best practices to build up the cybersecurity posture of electric utilities, according to a joint release published Wednesday.
The Cyber Sense Act would establish a voluntary program within DOE to help promote the use of cyber products in the bulk power system and create a testing process for those offerings.
McNerney said the electric grid serves as the U.S. economy's backbone and the bills seek to strengthen the electric infrastructure and promote partnerships between industry and DOE.
“Improving cooperation is key to ensuring the best information, products, and practices are being used to guard against cyberattacks, and these bills will foster a collaborative relationship between DOE and utilities that will help accomplish this goal,” Latta said.
Latta and McNerney serve as co-chair of the Grid Innovation Caucus, which aims to offer a forum to discuss ways to address challenges facing the electric grid.