Statement by the American Public Power Association on the Bipartisan Policy Center Electric Grid Cybersecurity Initiative Report

February 28, 2014

Press Release

Washington, D.C., February 28, 2014  – The American Public Power Association (APPA) commends the recommendations made in the Bipartisan Policy Center’s recently released Electric Grid Cybersecurity Initiative report and is grateful for the report’s acknowledgment of all of the hard work electric utilities have undertaken to date to secure their systems from cyber-attacks. Multiple representatives from the utility industry were involved in the creation of this report and APPA is pleased public power was also included.

Protecting the electric grid is the highest priority for APPA, and we share BPC’s concerns about the increases in frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks. APPA therefore appreciates BPC’s recognition of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection process and the importance of this process to protecting the electric grid. APPA is particularly pleased the report does not recommend expanding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s jurisdiction to encompass cybersecurity at the distribution system level.

APPA agrees with BPC’s recommendation that the federal government should adopt policies that enhance cyber-security in the areas of:

  • Clearer designation of roles for the government and private sector in the event of an emergency;
  • Increased cyber-security threat information-sharing between the electric sector and the federal government (and liability protections for information shared by utilities with the government);
  • Backstop cyber-security insurance, modeled after the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, until the private sector insurance markets are able to catch up.

Finally, APPA looks forward to discussing with others in the utility industry the BPC’s recommendation for the creation of a new industry-led body, comprised of power-sector participants across the country and modeled after the nuclear power industry’s Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.


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