By Tony Romm - 04/15/10 06:27 PM EDT
The House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved a bill
Thursday that seeks to address security vulnerabilities in the nation's
The legislation, which now heads to the House floor, would charge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with the responsibility of identifying and addressing weaknesses in the country's energy delivery system.
Closing those prospective security holes is crucial for Democrats, especially, if they hope soon to forge ahead with their plans to establish a Web-based "Smart Grid" that allows Americans to gauge their energy use.
“Right now, our electrical grid is
vulnerable to threats from terrorists
and hostile countries. Our adversaries have motive, intent, and the
capacity to exploit these weaknesses,” said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.),
the chairman of the
Energy and Environment Subcommittee and the bill's co-sponsor,
following Thursday's 47-0 vote.
“Every one of our nation’s
critical systems –
water, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation, law enforcement,
and financial services – depends on the grid,” Markey said in a
statement stressing the legislation's importance.