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Cybersecurity Research in Energy Sector Bill Presented to Congress

Judge gavel and scale in court. Library with lot of books in background

Congressman Mike Carey (R-Ohio) and Congresswoman Deborah Ross (D-North Carolina) proposed the Energy Cybersecurity University Leadership Program Act (ECULPA) of 2023 to other members of Congress on January 11, 2023, according to The Record.

What's in the Bill?

Under ECULPA, grants and other forms of funding to support cybersecurity and energy infrastructure initiatives would be provided to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, The Record reported. In addition, the bill would fund scholarships, fellowships and research and development projects relating to cybersecurity and energy infrastructure at colleges and universities.

Furthermore, ECULPA would provide students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities with opportunities to expand their cybersecurity and energy infrastructure expertise, The Record indicated.

The bill also would provide students with opportunities to get research experience at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Laboratories and utilities.

Previously, Carey and Ross introduced ECULPA in April 2022. At that time, the House of Representatives approved the bill, but the bill did not make it through the Senate.

President Biden Signs Cybersecurity Bills

The ECULPA news comes after President Biden in June 2022 approved three bipartisan cybersecurity bills designed to foster collaboration between the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and state and local governments:

  • State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act encourages the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and CISA to provide state and local governments with security tools, policies and procedures.
  • Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act establishes a civilian personnel rotation program for cybersecurity professionals at federal agencies.
  • Supply Chain Security Training Act delivers a supply chain security training program for federal officials who are responsible for supply chain risk management.

The cities of New Orleans, Atlanta and Baltimore have suffered cyberattacks dating back to 2018. Meanwhile, many state and local governments continue to look for ways to bolster their cyber protection. As such, new cybersecurity bills could be proposed and approved in the years to come.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.