Texas Senator Bob Hall hears testimony on Senate Bill 1398 from Kevin Freeman and Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy before the Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee of the Texas Senate. SB 1398 sets scientific and security based standards for electrical grid protection higher than the self regulating industry standards. Under current regulations there is no goal to make the Texas grid withstand and recover from a catastrophic system wide event.
The Texas hearing serves as a vignette for the one of the most fundamental reasons that the nation’s electrical grid is not protected to a level that keeps the public safe in proportion to known threats for which the military has been protecting its critical infrastructure assets for decades. Namely, that those responsible are self-regulating for quarterly earnings interests and not public safety interests. Because the electrical grid is privately owned, the government does not have the power to set realistic safety standards under current law.
Here we also see the testimony of the president of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas testify against the bill. Electrical utility associations predictably lobby against safety regulation of critical electrical infrastructure often against the interest of their members and share holders arguing that they have everything under control. In the video you can see that the electrical utility representative acknowledges the threats addressed in the legislation but is unable to claim that the Texas grid is protected under the current regulatory regime.