(United States Senate Press Release, May 12, 2020)

(U.S. Senator James Risch, Official Photo)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today introduced the Energy Infrastructure Protection Act, a bill to boost protections for critical electric infrastructure.  The bill updates provisions in the Federal Power Act and restricts federal disclosures of certain sensitive energy information.

“It’s crucial that the federal government and electric industry work in tandem to defend our critical electric infrastructure,” said Risch.  “The Energy Infrastructure Protection Act includes measures that will enable the federal government to protect utilities’ sensitive information from disclosures that could compromise our national security.  I thank Chairman Murkowski for her shared leadership on this legislation, and I look forward to moving it through the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.”

“Protecting our nation’s electric infrastructure is a matter of national security,” Murkowski said.  “Our bill equips the federal government with additional tools to safeguard the utility industry’s sensitive information.  It also takes important steps to ensure that information critical to utility operations is not unintentionally exposed, as that could surrender America’s energy security to foreign adversaries.”

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) currently protect information received from utilities.  The Energy Infrastructure Protection Act enhances those protections through provisions that:

  • Direct DOE and FERC to improve methods to protect critical energy information;
  • Grant explicit authority to DOE and FERC to help energy companies improve security;
  • Allow federal, state, and local authorities to request that their own critical energy information be protected under special designation by DOE or FERC.

Murkowski is Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Risch is a senior member of the committee.

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