The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lacks comprehensive legal authority to quickly respond to cyber attacks on the network that distributes electric power, a top agency official said, according to a Bloomberg News report.
FERC’s jurisdiction for the electric grid doesn’t extend to Alaska, Hawaii or local electricity distribution facilities, Joseph McClelland, director of the Office of Electric Reliability, said today at a House committee hearing in Washington.
The lack of agency oversight “may leave significant facilities vulnerable to the threat of a cyber or physical attack,” McClelland said in his prepared testimony.
Congress is considering legislation to bolster the security of the grid. McClelland said any new legislation should allow the government to take pre-emptive action to avoid an attack.
--Jack Z. Smith