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Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MARKEY of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Right now, Mr. Speaker, America's electric grid is vulnerable to cyber or other attacks by terrorists or hostile countries. Our adversaries are actively probing these weaknesses and already have the capacity to exploit them. The consequences of such an attack could be devastating. The commercially operated grid provides 99 percent of the power used by our defense facilities. Every one of our Nation's critical civilian systems--water, communications, health care, transportation, law enforcement, and financial services--depends on that grid. Classified Member briefings have underscored the urgency of this threat.

The GRID Act, which has been produced out of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, working with Mr. Upton, the ranking member of the subcommittee, passed by a unanimous 47-0 vote. It is the product of months of bipartisan work led by Chairman Waxman and Ranking Members Barton and Upton. It reflects important work by Mr. Barrow and other members of the Energy and Commerce Committee and by Chairman Thompson, Representative Clarke--Chairwoman Clarke--and others on the Homeland Security Committee. And it shows that when it comes to the nexus between national security and energy, all Americans agree that we must chart a more secure path.

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