Cornyn, Heinrich Introduce Bill to Better Protect Pipelines from Cyber Attacks

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) today introduced the Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act. This legislation would direct the Secretary of Energy to implement a program that helps ensure the physical security and cybersecurity of our oil and natural gas pipelines. 

“Foreign adversaries are trying to infiltrate our critical energy infrastructure, and it’s imperative that we’re prepared for potential attacks on our energy systems,” Sen. Cornyn said. “This legislation will enhance the Department of Energy’s ability to ensure our country’s oil and natural gas pipelines are secure in more ways than one.”

“Our nation's economy, security, and the health and safety of our citizens depend upon the reliable and uninterrupted supply of fuels and electricity. This bipartisan legislation would empower the Department of Energy to coordinate a comprehensive approach to make our system of pipelines more resilient and secure,” said Sen. Heinrich. “I’m proud that New Mexico's national labs are leading the way in developing a national cyber defense strategy and providing technology solutions to isolate our energy systems from cyberattacks.”

Background

The Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act would require the Secretary of Energy to carry out a program in consultation with federal agencies, states, and the energy sector to ensure the security, resiliency, and survivability of natural gas pipelines, hazardous liquid pipelines, and liquefied natural gas facilities. 

Specifically, the bill would require the Secretary to:

  • Coordinate response and recovery to physical and cyber incidents impacting the energy sector;
  • Develop advanced cybersecurity applications and technologies;
  • Perform pilot demonstration projects;
  • Develop workforce development curricula relating to physical and cybersecurity; and
  • Provide mechanisms to help the energy sector evaluate, prioritize, and improve physical and cybersecurity capabilities.