Thursday, May 26, 2016

House Amends and Passes S 2012 – Energy Policy

Last night the House passed an amended version of S 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 by a nearly party-line vote of 241 – 178. Later the House voted to insist on its amendment and called for a conference committee.

Bill Provisions of Interest

The bill includes the following cybersecurity provisions from HR 8:

Sec. 1104. Critical electric infrastructure security.
Sec. 1106. Cyber Sense.
Sec. 2008. Report on smart meter security concerns.
Sec. 3126. Internet of Things report.

The bill includes the following chemical transportation safety provision from HR 8:

Sec. 5009. Study of volatility of crude oil.

Moving Forward

The Senate version of the bill passed by a vote of 85 – 12 with only Republicans voting No. The House version passed on a mainly partisan vote with 172 Democrats voting no. It will take the conference committee a while to work out a version of the bill that will be able to come to a vote in the Senate and still be acceptable to the leadership in the House. The bill that passed yesterday would not make it to the Senate floor.

A final version of the bill will probably include the provisions listed above; there is nothing there that is objectionable. The Senate bill had a slightly different version of §1104. It will be interesting to see how the differences are worked out.

The Senate bill has one additional cybersecurity provision that should also make it into the final bill:

Sec. 2002. Enhanced grid security.

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