Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) discussed the role of blackstart technologies to restore power to the grid in case of a system-wide blackout.
“This is an important topic. We take for granted the lights will always come on when we flip the switch. But our electric system is increasingly being tested and stressed. There are daily cyber threats to our electricity infrastructure,” said Senator Cantwell.
“Unfortunately, cyber threats are not the only concern about the grid,” said Senator Cantwell. “Climate change is resulting in the increased frequency and severity of extreme storm events and natural disasters.”
In her questions at the hearing, Cantwell also called for more resources to train a cybersecurity workforce for the 21st Century. “To me, we should have a [WPA] program for cybersecurity,” Cantwell said. “Like we should just say, calling all Americans, we will help you get educated in this area if you help us. I think there’s a lot of young people in the Northwest – if they heard that call, they would respond to it…. We need thousands, hundreds of thousands of people in this infrastructure call.”
Read about Senator Cantwell’s previous actions and statements on cybersecurity here.
Broadcast quality video of Senator Cantwell’s opening statement can be found here.
Broadcast quality video of Senator Cantwell’s questions can be found here.
Witness testimony will be available online immediately before the start of each hearing on the committee website.