Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Under current law, no provision is made to secure critical energy infrastructure against electromagnetic, geomagnetic, physical, and cyber-attacks. SB 83 would increase the security of infrastructure from such attacks. It does this in five ways.
First, an electromagnetic threat preparedness task force would be created to identify vulnerabilities, develop comprehensive plans, and educate utility owners and operators. Second, the consideration of the implementation of a comprehensive threat protection and recovery plan would be required. Third, a new subchapter would be created in the Utilities Code with regard to grid security and the protection of sensitive information. Fourth, the composition, duties, and authority of the Electric Grid Security Advisory Committee would be established. Finally, major utilities would be required to assess and report technological hazards to the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The legislature would be able to fund enhancements to mitigate identified vulnerabilities through appropriations, a ratepayer cost recovery system, or a combination of the two.
This bill upholds the principle of limited government by making provision to fulfill critical governmental functions related to protection against outside threats. Because protection of infrastructure is a core state function and serves as the basis for the exercise of liberties, markets, and other fundamental rights, we support SB 83.