Walden, Shimkus, Upton commend action bolstering security of U.S. bulk-power system

U.S. Reps. Greg Walden (R-OR), Fred Upton (R-MI), and John Shimkus (R-IL) applauded a newly released presidential executive order to secure the U.S. bulk-power system.

President Donald Trump on May 1 issued the executive order, which determined that “the unrestricted foreign supply of bulk-power system electric equipment constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, which has its source in whole or in substantial part outside the U.S.”

“We commend President Trump for taking action today, directing the Secretary of Energy to take additional steps to enhance the security of our nation’s bulk-power system,” said the members, who serve on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, in a joint statement. “We look forward to working with Secretary Brouillette to ensure the Department has the resources and authorities it needs to carry out this important mission.”

The bulk-power system ensures the reliable, secure delivery of electricity and supports the operations of various critical infrastructure, emergency services and national defense, according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee statement, which noted that current federal and private-sector procurement practices could be exploited by foreign adversaries with malicious intent.

The executive order prohibits federal agencies and U.S. persons from acquiring, transferring or installing bulk-power system equipment in which foreign adversaries have any interest and the transaction poses an unacceptable risk to national security or the security and safety of American citizens; and requires the U.S. Department of Energy to develop recommendations for the electric industry to isolate, manage or replace equipment identified as posing a national security risk to the bulk-power system, among other actions.

“Over the past decade as we have monitored the increased security threats our adversaries pose to our nation’s electricity system, we have worked to ensure the Department of Energy has the authorities and tools to detect and address threats to critical electric infrastructure, which is essential for the health and safety of all Americans,” said Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Walden, Energy Subcommittee Ranking Member Upton, and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Ranking Member Shimkus.