House approves bill to elevate DOE grid security chief

By Andres Picon | 03/06/2024 06:49 AM EST

The bipartisan legislation would create a Senate-confirmed position at the Department of Energy.

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.).

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) during floor debate Tuesday. House Television

The House passed bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would require the Department of Energy to elevate its cybersecurity and emergency response director to a higher level requiring Senate confirmation.

Lawmakers advanced H.R. 3277, the “Energy Emergency Leadership Act,” from Reps. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), by voice vote.

The bill passed the House last Congress but failed to become law. It has enjoyed broad support as Congress looks to mitigate the rising threat of attacks on the electric grid.


Members on both sides of the aisle have also expressed concerns that DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response could lose influence and political standing within the agency as long as its leader is not a Senate-confirmed assistant secretary.