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Rubio, Scott, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect American Power Infrastructure from Foreign Interference

Jul 9, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) in introducing the Protect American Power Infrastructure Act to prohibit the use of bulk-power equipment that is produced by entities under the control or influence a foreign adversary in our nation’s defense-critical electric infrastructure.
Last year, former President Trump issued an executive order to reduce the risks that entities associated with the Chinese Government pose to the nation’s bulk-power system. The Protect American Power Infrastructure Act seeks to codify important components of former President Trump’s executive order after President Joe Biden revoked it earlier this year.
“In recent years, America’s strategic competitors have repeatedly infiltrated and attacked our nation’s critical infrastructure,” Rubio said. “Recent attacks on our nation’s energy supply chains, such as on the Colonial pipeline, demonstrate the urgency with which we must take decisive action to limit vulnerabilities to key infrastructure like our energy grid. The Protect American Power Infrastructure Act would implement key provisions of President Trump’s Executive Order on Securing the United States Bulk-Power System, which the Biden Administration has unwisely failed to implement. This bill is an important step toward removing vulnerabilities in our energy infrastructure that foreign adversaries could exploit to harm our nation.”
“The Biden administration has shown it is willing to use taxpayer dollars to purchase critical energy equipment from foreign adversaries, like Communist China,” Scott said. “That’s insane. We can’t do businesses with nations that are actively trying to disrupt our power grids, upend our everyday life and hurt Americans. We must keep our energy infrastructure safe and secure. My Protect American Power Infrastructure Act will ensure that our most critical and sensitive infrastructure is protected from our adversaries, and I hope the Senate passes this bill quickly.”
“By allowing Chinese equipment to be used in critical U.S. power infrastructure, the Biden administration is leaving a back door open for communist saboteurs,” Cotton said. “Our bill will strengthen the security of current systems and help protect us from future attacks.”
“Our energy infrastructure must be safe, secure, and resilient to provide affordable power to the American people,” Marshall said. “Leaving U.S. energy infrastructure exposed to potential threats from China and other foreign countries is unacceptable and presents a grave risk to our national security.”
The Protect American Power Infrastructure Act would:

  • Prohibit suppliers of power to American defense critical electric infrastructure from using equipment owned, controlled, operated or influenced by, or otherwise connected to, a foreign adversary.
  • Provide the Secretary of Energy the authority to pre-approve energy vendors and equipment which are deemed secure.
  • Require the Secretary of Energy to identify existing bulk-power systems, which pose an undue risk on the security or resiliency of the critical electric infrastructure in the United States, and to improve resiliency of those systems.
  • Create a process within the federal government for sharing information about infrastructure vulnerabilities and management practices to improve procurement of secure energy equipment.