Fifteen members of the House Committee on Homeland Security reintroduced the Pipeline Security Act on May 14 in an effort to secure pipelines from nefarious cybersecurity or terrorist attacks, in the wake of the recent ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline Company.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., Chairman Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., ranking member John Katko, R-N.Y., and 12 other members of the Committee reintroduced the legislation to codify the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) responsibilities relating to the security of pipelines, according to a press release.

“It’s become clear that cyber-attacks on our critical infrastructure are national security and economic threats to the homeland,” Rep. Cleaver said. “The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which caused the shutdown of thousands of miles of gas pipeline along the East Coast, was just the latest example of why Congress must act swiftly to harden our critical infrastructure and bolster our cybersecurity capabilities. That is why I am proud to introduce the Pipeline Security Act, a bipartisan priority that will help protect pipelines from all threats, streamline Federal authorities, and strengthen TSA’s security oversight of the pipeline sector.”

The bill would require TSA to develop a personnel strategy to staff its Pipeline Security Station, update pipeline security guidelines, and improve pipeline stakeholder engagement and congressional oversight of TSA’s efforts, according to the release.

“Both physical and cybersecurity threats to our infrastructure have the potential to harm our economy, undermine our national defense, and interrupt our daily lives,” Chairman Thompson said. “That is why I am eager to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation that strengthens DHS’s longstanding statutory authority to oversee and coordinate threats to our nation’s pipelines to ensure that our Federal response is rapid, clear, and consistent.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.