Dems call for review of pipeline cybersecurity rules

Dems call for review of pipeline cybersecurity rules

Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellDemocrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  FCC rolls back media regulations in move that critics say benefits Sinclair Steps Congress can take to save affordable housing in tax reform MORE (D-Wash.) and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) asked the Government Accountability Office and Transportation Security Administration on Tuesday whether voluntary guidelines for cybersecurity defenses for fuel pipelines need to be updated or codified.

"An assessment of these guidelines and their effectiveness is needed as a number of major trends have emerged, with potentially significant implications for our energy, national and economic security," the lawmakers wrote in a letter.

Cantwell and Pallone are the ranking members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee, respectively.

In the letter, they note that the same type of cybersecurity standards legislation protecting the energy grid is not in place for pipelines delivering natural gas and oil despite pipelines' dependence on the same types of internet-connected systems. 

The lawmakers asked for a review of the effectiveness of the voluntary rules and for input as to what agency would be in charge of enforcing a mandatory regime. The Transportation Security Administration is currently in charge of monitoring the voluntary system. 

“The results of this assessment will help policymakers evaluate the security of our nation's energy assets, which are critical to the safety, security, and economic well-being of the country,” they wrote.