S. 174 would authorize the appropriation of $10 million for the Department of Energy (DOE) to carry out a pilot program to identify security weaknesses in critical infrastructure (for example, power generation, transmission, and distribution systems) that could result in debilitating effects on national security, economic security, public health, or safety. DOE, in partnership with participating owners and operators of such infrastructure, would evaluate technologies and standards that could be used to defend those assets.
The bill also would authorize the appropriation of $1.5 million for DOE to establish a working group to evaluate the technologies and standards examined in the pilot program. The working group also would be required to develop a national engineering strategy to be used to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure from security vulnerabilities.
On the basis of historical spending patterns, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $11.5 million over the 2020-2024 period, subject to appropriation of the specified amounts.
S. 174 would impose an intergovernmental mandate, as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), on state, local, and tribal governments. The bill would preempt state and local laws that would otherwise require governmental agencies participating in the pilot program to disclose information about their activities, such as sharing cybersecurity information. Although the preemption would limit the application of state and local laws, CBO estimates that it would impose no duty on state or local governments that would result in additional spending or a loss of revenues.
S. 174 contains no private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.