For Immediate Release
Grid Security Investigator Files Lawsuit in Massive Electric Industry Coverup
Washington DC – After an almost two-year investigation, Electric Grid Security Investigator Michael Mabee has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking that the Court order the agency to release the names of grid security violators which have been previously withheld from the public, investors, Congress and state regulators. The lawsuit was filed under the Freedom of Information Act after FERC refused to release the names of companies who have violated mandatory grid reliability standards since 2010.
Mr. Mabee’s investigation revealed that between July of 2010 and July of 2019 FERC has withheld the identity of the regulatory violators in 253 cases, involving close to 1,500 companies. The investigation revealed a massive cover-up by the electric grid regulators in which they have hidden the identities of all violators of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) regulations concerning cybersecurity and physical security.
“The electric utility industry says that the government must cover up the names of regulatory violators, in order to protect the violators from attack,” said Michael Mabee. “However, it would be more prudent to hold companies accountable to follow the standards rather than try to hide their non-compliance from the Russians and Chinese.”
Mr. Mabee points out that according to open source reports, the Russians and Chinese have been probing the electric grid for over a decade. “If covering up the names of the violators was going to make us safer, it would have worked by now,” Mr. Mabee noted. “There is a decade of failure to make this country safe from cyberattacks and physical attacks. We need Congressional and public scrutiny and accountability – but we can’t get that with the ongoing industry cover-up.”
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Washington DC requests that the Court review and order the release of records denied by FERC pursuant to Mr. Mabee’s Freedom of Information Act requests. These records would reveal the names of companies who violated mandatory cybersecurity and physical security standards between 2010 and 2019.
“Presently, there is no incentive for companies to do more than the minimum to secure the grid. If they get caught violating standards, the matter is settled in private.” Mr. Mabee said. “Americans are being endangered by this system of backroom settlements and handshake penalties.”
Details on Mr. Mabee’s investigation can be found here: https://michaelmabee.info/nerc-coverup-investigation-report/. Details on Mr. Mabee’s FOIA requests can be found here: https://michaelmabee.info/cip-violation-database/
For further information, contact:
Phone: (516) 808-0883
C. Peter Sorenson, Esq.
Sorenson Law Office
Phone: (541) 606-9173