President Donald Trump signed an executive order on May 1 last year prohibiting bulk power system equipment from foreign companies in the U.S. grid, citing security concerns.
The U.S. Department of Energy noted that under the current rules, contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder when it comes to bulk power system procurement, and that creates a “vulnerability that can be exploited by those with malicious intent.”
U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said that it is imperative that “the bulk-power system be secured against exploitation and attacks by foreign threats.”
Analysts believe this means that the United States will set up a whitelist for the procurement of such equipment. Although the order did not name any specific country, observers say China and Russia are the two main countries most capable of posing a threat to the U.S. power grid.
Well, we have a new President now and it seems that he doesn’t have the same stance as former President Trump.
Joe Biden just hours after his inauguration effected an immediate freeze on several Trump-era deregulatory actions that directly affect the power sector, and revoked a long list of rules and executive actions affecting the bulk power system.
At the Department of Energy (DOE), the action pivotally halts rulemaking through which the agency would have limited procurement of bulk power system equipment sourced from adversary nations. Executive Order 13920 of May 1, 2020 (Securing the United States Bulk-Power System), is “effectively suspended for 90 days,” says one of the many executive orders issued on Wednesday. “The Secretary of Energy and the Director of [Office of Management and Budget] shall jointly consider whether to recommend that a replacement order be issued.”
During the press conference, the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked why Biden removed the EO that kept China out of the U.S. power grid and she couldn’t explain why Biden revoked the executive order.
Q Thanks, Jen. In an executive order that the President signed last week, he also suspended a Trump administrative — administration executive order that was particularly aimed at keeping foreign countries, specifically China, from interfering in the U.S. power grid. But he suspended that for 90 days in that executive order last week. Given what you said about China today, why did he do that, especially related to something so critical to our national security as the power grid?
MS. PSAKI: I’ll have to — I think the President’s view on our relationship with China I tried to do my best to convey to all of you. I’ll have to check on that specific piece, and we’ll — we’ll circle back with you directly.
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Alex D is a conservative journalist, who covers all issues of importance for conservatives. He writes for Conservative US, Red State Nation, Defiant America, and Supreme Insider. He brings attention and insight from what happens in the White House to the streets of American towns, because it all has an impact on our future, and the country left for our children. Exposing the truth is his ultimate goal, mixed with wit where it’s appropriate, and feels that journalism shouldn’t be censored. Join him & let’s spread the good word!