GOP demands answers on electric grid security leak

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to report on how sensitive information about electric grid security became public.

In a letter made public on Friday, senior Republicans on the committee, including Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), asked for all of FERC's internal grid security evaluations since 2012.

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The lawmakers' request for documents by May 5 comes after an inspector general report earlier this month concluded that FERC should have kept information about weaknesses in the U.S. power grid classified. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) had requested the inspector general (IG) report.

"The IG Management Alert raises questions concerning FERC's management and controls of sensitive information pertaining to the integrity and security of electric grid and other critical infrastructure," the lawmakers wrote.

The Wall Street Journal reported in March on a federal analysis that said a joint terrorist strike on nine crucial electric transmission substations could result in massive power outages across the U.S. The GOP letter noted that the IG found that some of this information "should have been classified and protected from release at the time it was created."

The letter asked for the names and titles of everyone responsible for the evaluation of electric grid security, and the process FERC uses to keep sensitive information secure.

The committee Republicans also requested all internal FERC guidance regarding its management of security information. They further asked for all communications among FERC officials relating to an attack on a California utility substation last year.

Laura Barron-Lopez contributed.