Monday, May 4, 2009

Power Grid "Cybersecurity" Measures Facing Congressional Turf Battles

Competing and conflicting bills aimed at beefing up the safety of our mostly computer controlled power generation and distribution facilities in the United States is being discussed in the House Homeland Security Committee, the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Senate Commerce Committee, and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Unless Representatives Bennie Thompson, Peter King, Henry Waxman, Edward Markey and John Barrow can quickly resolve their differences with Senators Joseph Lieberman, Jay Rockefeller and Thomas Carpenter, in the jurisdictional turf battle over which Committee has the drafting authority over this legislation, any new construction of power plants and transmission lines is like to be delayed even further than it is already being held up by disputes respecting authority over power transmission line routing.

Stewart Baker, a Bush administration bureaucrat who served in both the Homeland Security Department and NSA, fears that executive branch turf wars are spilling over into Congressional committees regarding the power grid cybersecurity issue. Baker4 commented: "Devoting all of our attention to fighting about the arrangement of the seats at the table is not going to be productive."
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