Energy official lacks authority to manage electric grid cybersecurity

Thursday - 9/6/2012, 7:55am EDT

A top Energy official said he doesn't have the authority to do much in the event of a cyber attack on the electric grid.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff told The Hill Newspaper he needs congressional approval to manage cybersecurity on the electric grid. As it is now, he can't communicate cyber threats to the utilities, and he has no enforcement authority to take action against a threat.

The Obama administration has pushed for that authority, but the Republicans say it could lead to increased regulation of the private sector.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily Cybersecurity Update. For more cybersecurity news, click here.