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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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Acting Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur Statement
March 12, 2014
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On Publication of Wall Street Journal Article About Grid Security

"We take seriously our obligation to the American people to protect the reliability and security of our nationís energy infrastructure and to enhance its resilience. Experts from FERC and other federal agencies work continuously with the electric industry to assess the threats posed by physical attacks, cyber intrusions, and severe weather; perform sophisticated modeling to identify and address vulnerabilities; and provide advice on security techniques and best practices. FERC also oversees mandatory reliability standards for the electric industry, including cyber security standards and standards that require planning for contingencies and emergency operations. On Friday, March 7, 2014, FERC ordered mandatory standards to protect critical facilities from physical security threats and vulnerabilities. At the same time, no single action or approach is sufficient. Building a resilient grid requires a comprehensive and ongoing assessment of how the system is planned, constructed, operated, and secured under a range of conditions.

"Todayís publication by The Wall Street Journal of sensitive information about the grid undermines the careful work done by professionals who dedicate their careers to providing the American people with a reliable and secure grid. The Wall Street Journal has appropriately declined to identify by name particularly critical substations throughout the country. Nonetheless, the publication of other sensitive information is highly irresponsible. While there may be value in a general discussion of the steps we take to keep the grid safe, the publication of sensitive material about the grid crosses the line from transparency to irresponsibility, and gives those who would do us harm a roadmap to achieve malicious designs. The American people deserve better."