Monday, September 13, 2021

Review - HR 5135 Introduced – GRID Act

Last month, Rep Crow (D,CO) introduced HR 5135, the Guaranteeing Resilient Installations for Defense (GRID) Act of 2021. The bill would require DOD to establish a pilot program to implement mitigating actions to address vulnerabilities assessed under 16 USC 824o-1 at critical defense facilities and their associated defense critical electric infrastructure.

Crow and one of his cosponsors {Rep Bacon (R,NE)} are both members of the House Armed Services Committee to which this bill was assigned consideration. Secondary consideration was assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in which the second cosponsor {Rep Peters (D,CA)} is a member. This means that there may be adequate influence to see the bill considered in both Committees. I do not see anything in the bill that would engender any organized opposition. I suspect that there would be sufficient bipartisan support for this bill that, should it make it to the floor of the House for consideration, the bill should be considered under the suspension of the rules process.


It is interesting that this bill requires DOD to “address vulnerabilities assessed under section 215A of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824o–1)”. That section deals with providing DOE the authority to respond to a “grid security emergency” declared by the President. There is no language in that section that calls for an assessment of vulnerabilities, in fact, there is no use of the words ‘assessment’, ‘assess’, ‘vulnerability’ or ‘vulnerabilities’ in that section.

So, it strikes me that this bill is incomplete at best. It needs to define who is responsible for the ‘assessment of vulnerabilities’ and explain whether that assessment is solely related to a grid security emergency declared by the President.

For more details about the provisions in the bill, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis -   - subscription required.

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