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Energy Department Plans New Office Of Cybersecurity

by Countable | 2.14.18

What’s the story?

Cyber threats to national infrastructure, particularly energy systems, are a new and likely reality of global conflict. Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced via the department’s website Wednesday that it is opening a new Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response.

The office will be funded by $96 million included in the president’s FY2019 budget, assuming that line item is included in the final budget formulated by Congress.

Secretary Perry highlighted the role of the department in protecting U.S. energy infrastructure, and pointed to the new office’s focus on fulfilling that mission:

"DOE plays a vital role in protecting our nation’s energy infrastructure from cyber threats, physical attack and natural disaster, and as Secretary, I have no higher priority. This new office best positions the Department to address the emerging threats of tomorrow while protecting the reliable flow of energy to Americans today."

What do you think?

Is this new office a good use of taxpayer money? Should Congress support the idea when formulating the FY2019 budget and appropriations bills? What do you see as the greatest vulnerability to U.S. energy infrastructure and how do you think it should be dealt with?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

Take Action

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(63)
  • Betty
    02/14/2018
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    Rick Perry is an idiot. I hope the people working on cyber security have more brains than he does. We NEED better cyber security, but who really should be in charge of it, when this president seems to like morons who don't know anything more than he does, and that is a very low bar.

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  • Jill
    02/14/2018
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    The department of energy is not a spy agency or a covert intelligence operation. Hell with this administration it’s barely an intelligent agency. We already have agencies that covert cyber security and covert ops. Stop delegitimizing them and start trusting their hard work on intelligence operations. This is absolutely not the role of the department of energy.

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  • Sherry
    02/17/2018
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    Doesn't cyber security already fall under the department of homeland security's responsibility? Who needs two? One more department to NOT communicate with the other? There are already 430 departments, agencies, and sub agencies in the federal government. Enough redundancy. Do your jobs!

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  • Chickie
    02/14/2018
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    No! This administration is on the path to raise our deficit into astronomical amounts. I would like to know who told #45 that the office of President comes with a blank check? The energy department should NOT be in charge of Cyber Security. This would fall under those who already understand and are trained in protection, (such as CIA, FBI, and other such protection agencies). To create a new department is a waste of taxpayer monies. Vote NAY and move on to what needs immediate (911), attention. Such as replacing WH staff and appointees who do not have security clearance, a clean DACA law, and immigration. Stop government wasteful spending, (such as paying for first class airline tickets versus Business Class tickets), requiring all departments to provide a clean report on their spending, and enforce fiscal responsibility. This should start at the top with curtailing costs for security and travel to NYC and Mira Lago. If #45 insists on sustaining two other residences with security and the travel expense to get there from Washington DC, he can pay for it.

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  • Mark
    02/17/2018
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    This is fantastic. The energy/utility sector has unique cyber security problems because they run Industrial Control Systems and this bill is providing funding for protecting those systems. DHS oversees overarching cyber security but each department is responsible for securing their own infrastructure.

    Like (11)
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  • Azrael
    02/15/2018
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    Rick perry in charge?? Bugs bunny will be able to hack us WTF?

    Like (8)
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  • Robert
    02/14/2018
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    We need experience experts in covert cyber activity. I don’t believe Rick Perry and his department have such expertise or would be able to actually find such expertise.

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  • Nicole
    02/17/2018
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    Rick Perry is the wrong person to head the Energy Department, and he should even less direct cybersecurity. Instead, since it’s a national security issue (overall energy supply), we should create a team under Homeland Security to address this specific area.//Why don’t we have appropriate leadership for all these Departments? #45 hasn’t even appointed anyone to most positions! Congress needs to step up and say no!

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  • KansasTamale
    02/14/2018
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    Rick Peery is as incapable in cyber anything as he is energy. He doesn’t know anything about either one. Cyber security should be a department in the DOJ. . They already are well organized and cyber would work together. Both the CIA & the FBI would be a better place for this department. And we definitely need a cyber sleuthing department. This has to be smoke & mirrors to either hide what Russia has done and are still doing. OR. It’s a way for Perry & Trump to find out what MUELLER’S committee has already found out.

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  • Tooluser1
    02/17/2018
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    Meh. Homeland was built out of the cast-offs and undesirables of all the other departments, those thieves couldn't find their asses with both hands, two mirrors, and a childrens illustrated copy of Grays Anatomy. (Unless there was something worth stealing.... I mean civil forfeiting of course)

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  • Patricia
    02/17/2018
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    Please do not put our cyber security in the hands of this idiot and his department. Leave it where it belongs — Homeland Security.

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  • Lenora
    02/17/2018
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    Just shut down Russia and their meddling butts 😠...

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    02/17/2018
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    I do not believe in person or one agency can just decide that it wants to create a new office and then charge Americans to build and operate it. This is the responsibility of Congress to develop and implement and justify the purpose, etc. I suspect an ulterior motive. Congress should be seeking what that is and make sure that any program has built in ethics and has an oversight agency, as well as a third party watch dog group. Republicans are untrustworthy. They are the real threat to America.

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  • Dennis
    02/17/2018
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    I believe that cyber security belongs to homeland security where they believe in science rather than with Perry who doesn’t

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  • Gail
    02/15/2018
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    Has someone told him what cyber security is?

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  • John
    02/14/2018
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    Let the security experts take care of security and let the DOE work on renewable energy sources.

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  • Robert
    02/17/2018
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    This is pretty much like the SS right? This is going to be the secret President spy group who spies on people who don’t agree with this Administration right ? Except this time Jesus is on their side . I saw this in a movie I think .

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  • Kathy
    02/17/2018
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    This coming from the man who when running for President he wanted to get rid of 3 Agencies if he became President. The Department of Education ( which under Betsy DeVos you mighty as well say it’s gone) Commerce Department, oh yeah and the one he couldn’t remember Energy Department which he’s in charge of. Isn’t this already being done? It’s amazing how the Republicans hate big Government unless they can put the money in pockets of their buddies. Wild the Swamp has really gotten HUGE under 45.

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  • Gerald
    02/17/2018
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    Why not? True, the name Rick Perry is synonymous with incompetence and cute utterances such as “oops”, but at least he got his name in a press release. I will sleep so much better at night knowing our nuclear weapons, power grid ... uh...and...there was a third thing but I forgot.

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  • Andrew
    02/14/2018
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    Why? That belongs to the Department of Homeland Security. Stop the crazy spending of tax dollars. Republicans are the party of spending and deficits.

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