IECA Urges Congress to Give FERC Reliability Oversight on Natural Gas Pipelines

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) on Wednesday sent letters to the Senate and House Committees of jurisdiction on physical and cybersecurity of natural gas pipelines.

The letter urges Congress to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) federal reliability oversight and mandatory requirements to improve the physical and cybersecurity of natural gas pipelines. Unlike electricity, there are no mandatory standards and there is no federal oversight of natural gas pipeline reliability. Our nation cannot have electricity reliability without a secure and reliable supply of natural gas.

FERC meets at the intersection of natural gas and electricity markets that are dependent upon one another. Establishing FERC oversight is timely. The natural gas market is undergoing change due to significant growth in LNG and pipeline exports that can threaten reliability during peak winter and summer demand, and the shift to renewable energy. According to the FERC and the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over 43 percent of 2020 U.S. production has been approved for export to 2050. This is on top of pipeline exports equal to 8.6 percent of production.

As very large energy consumers, we understand that implementation of mandatory physical and security requirements will increase costs that will be passed onto us. However, one successful attack could shutdown tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities and cost tens of millions of dollars per day for each facility.

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