Energy Department creates new office for cyber, energy security

Energy Department creates new office for cyber, energy security
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The Energy Department (DOE) is creating a new office to "bolster" its cybersecurity and energy security efforts.

The new Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response, announced Wednesday, would support the department's "expanded" national security responsibilities. The White House budget released Monday proposes $96 million for funding.

“DOE plays a vital role in protecting our nation’s energy infrastructure from cyber threats, physical attack and natural disaster, and as Secretary, I have no higher priority,” Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryNew Energy secretary cancels Paris trip amid mass strikes against Macron proposal Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in Overnight Energy: Critics call EPA air guidance 'an industry dream' | New Energy secretary says Trump wants to boost coal | EPA looks to speed approval of disputed industry pollution permits MORE said in a statement. “This new office best positions the Department to address the emerging threats of tomorrow while protecting the reliable flow of energy to Americans today.”

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The department said the new office would allow better coordination and focus on protecting energy infrastructure, like the electric grid, from cyber and foreign attacks as well as natural threats such as hurricanes and snowstorms.

Overall, President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE is proposing a slight increase in the DOE’s budget for fiscal 2019 to $30.6 billion from the $30.1 billion in current funding.

However, the budget is merely a proposal. Congress has the final say on funding levels and would decide on the funding of the new office.

Cyber and storm threats are both concerns Perry and lawmakers have addressed in the past.

In January, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee considered how weather events like this winter's bomb cyclone might have impacted the nation's electric grid.