Saturday, March 14, 2015

Committee Hearings – Week of 3-15-15

Both the House and Senate will be operating in Washington this week. The budget is the hot topic for hearings this week with most committees looking at some aspect of the budget. Cybersecurity is also a common theme this week with a number of hearings (see the listing below). The electric grid modernization, sUAV, Chemical Terrorism, Coast Guard mission and TSCA legislation round out the hearing topics that may be of specific interest to readers of this blog.


The following cybersecurity related hearings are scheduled this week:

Cybersecurity: The Evolving Nature of Cyber Threats Facing the Private Sector – Subcommittee on Information Technology of the House Oversight Committee, Wednesday

The Growing Cyber Threat and its Impact on American Business – House Intelligence Committee, Thursday

Examining the Evolving Cyber Insurance Marketplace - Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Thursday

The House Intelligence Committee hearing will be a somewhat rare public hearing.

Coast Guard Mission

The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on Tueday on “An Overview of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Missions”. The Deputy Commandant is the only witness currently scheduled. There may be brief mentions of MTSA and chemical transportation issues.


The Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing on Wednesday on “Unmanned Aerial System Threats: Exploring Security Implications and Mitigation Technologies”. The witness list has not yet been announced.

Chemical Terrorism

The Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing on Thursday on “Agents of Opportunity: Responding to the Threat of Chemical Terrorism”. The witness list has not yet been published.

This sounds like it will be looking at the potential use of industrial chemicals as terrorist weapons. This is a subject that should be near and dear to me and my readers.

Electric Grid

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will be holding a hearing on Tuesday on “The State of Technological Innovation Related to the Electric Grid”. The witness list includes:

● Ms. Lisa Barton, AEP Transmission;
● Ms. Lisa Edgar, Florida Public Service Commission
● Dr. Michael Howard Ph.D., P.E., Electric Power Research Institute
● Dr. Peter Littlewood, Argonne National Laboratory
● Dr. Jeff Taft, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

I expect that there will be some mention of cybersecurity issues and perhaps physical security of substations.


It looks like the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will be holding a hearing on Wednesday to look at S 697, the bipartisan bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that I mentioned earlier this week. The hearing is not yet listed on the Committee web site.

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