The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) today
expressed satisfaction that a provision directing an assessment of the
electrical grid was included in HR 3696, the National Cybersecurity and
Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2014, which passed the House
yesterday by voice vote.
“Inclusion of the SMART Study Act as a provision in this
cybersecurity bill demonstrates just how critical grid technologies are
to a world facing increased cyber threats,” said NEMA President and CEO
Evan R. Gaddis.
The provision would result in a comprehensive assessment of
actions necessary to expand and strengthen the capabilities of the
electrical power system to prepare for, respond to, mitigate, and
recover from a natural disaster or cyberattack.
It was originally incorporated into the legislation through an
amendment offered by Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) in the Homeland
Security Committee markup.
“Cyber threats are a major challenge as we transition to a
modern electrical grid,” said Gaddis. “We believe this study would go a
long way in describing how the electrical grid can be made more
resilient through adoption of new technologies.”
Cybersecurity is only one threat facing the grid, Gaddis noted.
Events such as Superstorm Sandy serve as a reminder that the grid is
vulnerable to naturally-occurring events. A 2013 report released by the
Executive Office of the President estimates that the annual cost
nationwide of weather-related grid outages averages between $18 and $33
Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 350 electrical
equipment and medical imaging manufacturers that make safe, reliable, and efficient products
and systems. Our combined industries
account for 360,000 American jobs in more than 7,000 facilities covering every
state. Our industry produces $106 billion shipments of electrical equipment and
medical imaging technologies per year with $36 billion exports.