Republican members on the House Energy and Commerce Committee today requested information from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the establishment of its new Office of Energy Infrastructure Security (OEIS). Members wrote to FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff seeking answers regarding FERC's statutory authority and OEIS' jurisdiction, funding, and responsibilities.
The request continues the committee's ongoing cybersecurity oversight and its efforts to ensure the protection of our nation's critical infrastructure while ensuring that any government actions do not impede the ability of these systems to respond to threats or maintain efficient and effective operations. Signing the letter was full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH).
The members wrote, "The protection of the nation's critical infrastructure, including those facilities subject to FERC jurisdiction, such as the bulk-power system, pipelines, and hydropower facilities, is vital to the country's economic well-being and the safety and security of our citizens. The Committee on Energy and Commerce, in its oversight role, continues to assess the critical infrastructure planning and protection efforts of the appropriate federal agencies, oversee the protection, mitigation and resiliency efforts of private asset owners, and evaluate opportunities to better secure critical infrastructure, such as through improved information sharing.
"The Committee shares the goals of the Commission to ensure the nation's energy infrastructure is protected from physical and cyber threats and we look forward to learning more about the objectives of the OEIS."