Friday, March 8, 2019

HR 1315 Introduced – DOE Jobs Program

Last month Rep. Rush (D,IL) introduced HR 1315, the Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Development Act of 2019. The bill would amend 42 USC 7141 to require DOE to “establish and carry out a comprehensive, nationwide program to improve education and training for jobs in energy-related industries” {§201(a)}. The bill would authorize $100 million each year through 2024 for the revised program.

Moving Forward

Rush is the Chair of the Energy Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the two committees to which this bill was assigned for consideration. This bill is almost certain to be considered in Subcommittee and will probably be considered by the full committee. The authorization portion of the bill is the only thing that might provide for any opposition to the bill; potentially stopping the bill from making it to the floor of the House for consideration.


The attentive reader will note that I have not gone into any detail about the provisions of the bill. This is because the bill contains no provisions addressing cybersecurity jobs, even indirectly. Normally, I would have just deleted this bill from the list of bills that I was watching, but the lack of cybersecurity coverage is so egregious given the nature of the bill that I just had to call it out.

Any bill that intends to sets out to “to increase the number of skilled workers trained to work in such energy-related industries”{§201(a)}, especially programs directed at “religious and ethnic minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, unemployed energy workers, and socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals” {§201(a)(1)} needs to include cybersecurity training and education as one of its areas of focus.

The lack of cybersecurity coverage in the bill could be addressed by making the following relatively minor changes to the bill:

Page 4, line 9; insert “cybersecurity,” after “manufacturing,”;
Page 6, line 9; insert “cybersecurity,” after “manufacturing,”;
Page 8, line 8; insert “cybersecurity,” after “manufacturing,”;
Page 9, line 10; insert “cybersecurity,” after “turing,”;
Page 10, line 3; insert “cybersecurity,” after “turing,”;
Page 10, line 10; insert “cybersecurity,” after “manufacturing,”;
Page 12, after line 24; insert
“(M) Cybersecurity industry, including work as cybersecurity researchers, equipment installers, and security operation center operators.”
Page 13, line 24; insert “cybersecurity sector,” after “energy efficiency sector,”;
Page 19, after line 24; insert
“(11) Cybersecurity industry – The term “cybersecurity industry” means businesses or self-employed individuals providing services in cyber vulnerability research; cybersecurity consultation; cybersecurity equipment design, manufacture, installation or operation; or the establishment or operation of cybersecurity operation centers.”

I suspect that the reason may have been that Rush was concerned that adding cybersecurity jobs to the listing of covered programs that the bill would have also been referred to the House Homeland Security Committee for consideration. That could have provided an additional roadblock for the bill on its way to the floor of the House.

One interesting part of this bill is its broad definition of ‘energy related industries’. The industries embraced by this definition include {§201(i)(2)}:

• Energy efficiency industry;
• Renewable energy industry;
• Community energy resiliency industry;
• Fuel cell and hydrogen energy industry;
• Manufacturing industry;
• Chemical manufacturing industry;
• Utility industry;
• Alternate fuels industry;
• Pipeline industry;
• Nuclear industry;
• Oil and gas industry; and
Coal industry;

The inclusion of the ‘chemical manufacturing industry’ is rather odd in this context, especially since it is lot limited to production of energy related chemicals. I would assume that this is an attempt by Rush to include support for specific constituencies within his district. The description of the jobs addressed in this sector is both detailed and broad. It includes {§201(i)(2)(F)}:

• Work in construction (such as welders, pipefitters, and tool and die makers);
• Instrument and electrical technicians;
• Machinists;
• Chemical process operators;
• Engineers;
• Quality and safety professionals; and
• Reliability engineers.

If this bill were to pass, the chemical industry might want to carefully watch the development of this DOE program.

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