Energy regulator: Steps underway to protect grid

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By AP

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Updated: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 01:15:53 EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top federal energy regulator says her agency is taking steps to improve handling of classified national security information, following a report that officials improperly allowed widespread access to a document that outlined specific physical threats to the nation's electric grid.

Cheryl LaFleur is the acting chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She told the Senate Energy Committee Thursday that employees are "wiping and scrubbing all databases" among steps to protect sensitive information.

The commission also has directed a nonprofit entity that oversees electric reliability to develop physical security standards for the grid by early June.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that a secret federal analysis indicated that a coordinated terrorist strike on just nine key electric transmission substations could cause power outages across the country.

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