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National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2014

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3696, the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act.

In October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc up and down the east coast, including in my home State of New Jersey. According to the Department of Energy, between 2003 and 2012, close to 700 power outages occurred due to weather-related events, costing the Nation an annual average of $18 billion to $33 billion. Even worse, in 2012, Hurricane Sandy carried an estimated price tag of between $40 billion and $52 billion, and as we have seen recently, our power systems are exposed to cyber attacks more than ever before.

Disasters, whether manmade or by Mother Nature, are a drain on our Nation's economy and expose us to other potentially more harmful attacks on our financial industry, water and waste systems, chemical, telecommunications, and energy sectors. Put simply, it is clear that our electric grid needs an upgrade. That is why I am pleased that, during the committee process, the committee unanimously supported my amendment, H.R. 2962, the SMART Grid Study Act.

The study will be conducted by the National Research Council in full cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies as necessary, and will provide a comprehensive assessment of actions necessary to expand and strengthen the capabilities of the electric grid to prepare for, respond to, mitigate, and recover from a natural disaster or a cyber attack. Further, it was supported by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition, and the American Public Power Association.

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Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, in closing, I want to thank Chairman McCaul and Ranking Member Thompson, Chairman MEEHAN, and Ranking Member Clarke for really showing us what a bipartisan effort is all about. At Homeland Security, we all have a common goal, which is to keep the homeland and the Nation safe. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

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