WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) -- Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of a House energy committee, said he was devoted to protecting the national energy grid from cyber attacks and terrorism.
"Ensuring the security and reliability of the electric grid remains a priority for this committee, and we will continue our oversight of all emerging threats, including cyber attacks, acts of terrorism, electromagnetic pulses, and strict government mandates and regulations that threaten reliability," he said in a statement Monday.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week called on grid operators to address vulnerabilities by performing risk assessments, examining potential threats and implementing security plans.
In February, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called on the Department of Homeland Security and FERC to draft measures to tighten physical security standards to protect the electric grid. Snipers last year shot at a California power station.
"We are encouraged that FERC is taking proactive steps to develop enforceable standards to protect the grid from physical attacks," Upton said.
FERC Commissioner John Norris testified last month that vigilance is needed to protect the U.S. electric grid, but cautioned against overreaction.