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SPOTLIGHT

1. ELECTRICITY

Smart meter backers see role in Texas power market debate

HOUSTON -- Just a few years ago, Oncor Electric would ask Texas customers to switch on their porch lights during outages so workers would know which houses did -- and didn't -- have power. It was the best way to make sure no cluster of darkened homes was overlooked. Today, with millions of so-called smart meters in place across deregulated parts of Texas' power market, companies such as Oncor often have a more efficient and reliable way to pinpoint which customers need attention.

2. SECURITY

A 'bear' leaves clues in the hunt for energy industry's best cyberdefenses

It's 9 a.m. in Moscow, and the "Energetic Bear" is awake again, sniffing around oil and gas companies' computer networks. The cyberattacker's ursine nickname, coined by security firm CrowdStrike, combines Russia's national animal with a taste for targeting energy companies. Analysts at the startup say the powerful "Energetic Bear" could step up attacks this year as the U.S. energy sector struggles to keep its secrets and infrastructure safe.

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