Cornyn Proposes Expanding Cybersecurity Authority to Energy Department for Pipelines, LNG

Credit: Alex Brandon/AP.
US Sen. John Cornyn

Texas Sen. John Cornyn introduced legislation on 31 January that would extend authority over the cybersecurity of oil and natural gas pipelines, as well as liquefied natural gas facilities, to the secretary of energy.

Under the bill, the Department of Energy would coordinate recovery efforts from physical and cyberattacks against the US energy sector, as well aiding companies in improving their in-house security.

"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," Cornyn, a Republican and one of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's top lieutenants, said in a statement. "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."

Authority over pipeline security now largely resides with the Transportation Security Administration, a division of the Department of Homeland Security. But TSA's capability has come under fire.

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