Senators want Huawei’s tech banned from U.S. energy grid

by WorldTribune Staff, February 26, 2019

Sens. Marco Rubio and John Cornyn have written a letter calling on the Trump administration to ban the use of Chinese tech giant Huawei’s products in the U.S. energy infrastructure.

Congress has already blocked the use of Huawei products in U.S. telecommunications equipment “due the company’s links to China’s intelligence services,” the letter said, adding “we urge similar action to protect critical U.S. electrical systems and infrastructure.”

In a letter to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Rubio, Florida Republican, and Cornyn, Texas Republican, said the action “would further protect critical U.S. electrical systems and follow Congressional actions to prohibit Huawei telecommunications equipment from being used in the United States.”

Also signing the letter were Republican Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Jim Risch of Idaho, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Mitt Romney of Utah; Democrat Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Dianne Feinstein of California; and Maine Independent Sen. Angus King.

The letter states that Huawei, the world’s largest manufacturer of solar inverters, “is attempting to access our domestic residential and commercial markets.”

Solar inverters are the “sophisticated control systems that have allowed the rapid expansion of residential and utility scale energy production,” the letter states. “Both large-scale photovoltaic systems and those used by homeowners, school districts, and businesses are equally vulnerable to cyberattacks. Our federal government should consider a ban on the use of Huawei inverters in the United States and work with state and local regulators to raise awareness and mitigate potential threats.”

The letter urges Perry and Nielsen to “work with all federal, state and local regulators, as well as the hundreds of independent power producers and electricity distributors nation-wide to ensure our systems are protected. We stand ready and willing to provide any assistance you need to secure our critical electricity infrastructure.”

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