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NEMA Lauds House Approval of SMART Study Act


7/29/2014 12:20 PM

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 billion.

​NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia. Its nearly 400 member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Total U.S. shipments for electroindustry products exceed $100 billion annually.

Press Contact:
Phallan K. Davis
(703) 841-3282
phallan.davis@nema.org