Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today received a letter from the American Public Power Association (APPA), Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) expressing support for the senators’ request last week for an examination of the leak of sensitive Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) information to the Wall Street Journal.

On March 27, Landrieu and Murkowski, the chairwoman and ranking member respectively of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, called on the Department of Energy’s inspector general to examine the leak of sensitive internal FERC information on potential physical vulnerabilities of the nation’s electric grid. In their letter to DOE Inspector General Gregory Freidman, the senators wrote: “In the wrong hands, such documents potentially could provide a roadmap for those who would seek to harm the nation by intentionally causing one or more power blackouts.”

APPA, EEI, and NRECA wrote to the senators that they support the effort to “discover the facts surrounding this unfortunate release of information and ensure that it does not happen in the future.”

The full text of the letter is pasted below.

March 31, 2014

 

The Honorable Mary Landrieu

Chairwoman

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

United States Senate

Washington, DC  20510

                                                     

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski

Ranking Member

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

United States Senate

Washington, DC  20510


Dear Chairwoman Landrieu and Ranking Member Murkowski:

The undersigned associations appreciate your continuing recognition and support for electric power industry efforts to protect the security of the electric grid. We commend you for your efforts to prevent public disclosure of sensitive information that could jeopardize that security if it fell into the wrong hands, including your recent call for an investigation into apparent leaks of sensitive Federal Energy Regulatory Commission documents to the press.

The electric power industry takes physical and cyber security of the electric grid very seriously.  The notion that recent media stories have suddenly spurred the industry to action, or somehow enhanced grid security, is inaccurate.  In fact, our industry has long been working to improve grid security in a collaborative effort with our government partners to help address vulnerabilities on the electric system.  Disclosure of sensitive information like this complicates efforts to protect our critical infrastructure while maintaining appropriate information sharing efforts.

Information sharing is an important part of grid security efforts, and the industry-government partnership that has been built to protect our critical infrastructure is a relationship built on trust that the information will not be compromised.  Release of sensitive information only results in a reluctance to share it.

We support your efforts to discover the facts surrounding this unfortunate release of information and ensure that it does not happen in the future, so that our partnership with the government remains strong, and we can continue to work collaboratively on protecting the electric infrastructure which is critical to national security and public safety.

American Public Power Association

Edison Electric Institute

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association