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Five Energy Bills Clear First Hurdle, Advance to House Energy & Commerce Committee

A House subcommittee on Wednesday gave its stamp of approval to five energy bills, including one designed to expedite U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Energy advanced House Resolution (HR) 4606 (Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act), authored by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), which calls for codifying DOE's recent efforts to encourage quicker approval of small-scale LNG exports, especially to countries in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

HR 4606 was passed by a 19-14 vote.

Four other bills focusing on energy security issues advanced out of the subcommittee by unanimous voice votes. They included HR 5174 (Energy Emergency Leadership Act), which would update the Department of Energy (DOE) Organization Act to include energy emergency and energy security functions which the DOE secretary shall assign to an assistant secretary.

The subcommittee also advanced HR 5175 (Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act), which would require the Secretary of Energy to carry out a program to coordinate federal agencies, states and the energy sector to ensure the security, resiliency and survivability of natural gas pipelines, hazardous liquid pipelines and LNG facilities. HR 5239, which would establish a voluntary DOE program to test the cybersecurity of products and technologies intended for use in the bulk power system, was also advanced by the subcommittee.

Finally, the subcommittee gave unanimous approval to HR 5240 (Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act), which would require DOE to establish a program to facilitate and encourage public-private partnerships to promote and advance physical and cybersecurity of electric utilities that have fewer resources due to size or region.

"Taken together, these bills represent important energy security and energy infrastructure reforms that will better position DOE to serve the nation's interests going forward," said Greg Walden (R-OR), chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee.

DOE established a cybersecurity office in February to help protect and prepare the energy industry from attacks.

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