Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") Chairman
Jon Wellinghoff announced the creation of the Office of Energy
Infrastructure Security ("OEIS") in a press release
issued on September 20, 2012. According to the press release, the
OEIS will assist FERC with assessing and addressing potential cyber
and physical security risks presented to energy facilities under
FERC's jurisdiction, such as facilities that are part of the
bulk power system. Chairman Wellinghoff notes, in a statement
released in conjunction with the press release on September 20,
2012, that there is a "growing potential" for cyber and
physical security attacks, necessitating the need for the
development of an office such as the OEIS.
The OEIS responsibilities will include:
developing recommendations to identify and respond to potential
cyber and physical security threats to FERC-jurisdictional
providing assistance to other governmental bodies and
jurisdictional utilities with respect to potential cyber and
physical security threats to FERC-jurisdictional facilities;
participating in inter-agency and intelligence-related
coordination efforts with other governmental entities and industry
conducting outreach to private sector industry participants
regarding identification and mitigation of potential cyber and
physical security threats to FERC-jurisdictional facilities.
Chairman Wellinghoff noted in his statement that "[t]he key
benefit of a stand-alone office focused on energy infrastructure
security is that it leverages the existing resources of the
Commission with the resources of other governmental agencies and
private industry in a coordinated, focused manner."
The OEIS will be led by Joseph McClelland, who has been the
Director of the FERC Office of Electric Reliability
("OER") since its formation in 2006. As Director of the
OER, Mr. McClelland was responsible for overseeing compliance with
approved mandatory reliability standards by owners, operators and
users of the bulk power system. FERC's press release noted that
FERC, including the OER and the new OEIS, will continue to work
closely with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to
oversee bulk power system reliability.
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