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Hudson’s critical infrastructure protection proposal headed to full House

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(The Center Square) – Strengthened penalties for damaging America’s critical infrastructure, such as what happened in North Carolina and at least five other states, is headed to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The proposal – Protecting America’s Distribution Transformer Supply Chain Act – from Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., in October cleared the Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee. This week, it passed the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The sixth-term Republican filed the legislation last June.

Hudson wrote on social media, “Attacks on our critical infrastructure, like we saw in Moore County, are unacceptable, and bad actors must face consequences.”

On Dec. 3, 2022, suspects with guns fired shots on two Duke Energy electrical substations near Carthage and West End in Moore County. Power was lost by about 40,000 consumers, and nearly three days later 35,000 were still in the dark. An 87-year-old woman dependent on an oxygen machine to breathe died; her death was ruled a homicide.

No charges have been filed.

A similar infrastructure attack happened a month later in Randolph County. Before those, a Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative electrical distribution substation was vandalized Nov. 11, 2022. An estimated 12,000 lost power in Jones County.

Through last October, Hudson had helped secure $1.6 billion “to bolster grid security” through the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriation Act for fiscal year 2024.

At the Legislative Building in Raleigh last June, state lawmakers passed and Gov. Roy Cooper signed Protect Critical Infrastructure to bolster protection and penalties. Each chamber agreed unanimously, and it took effect Dec. 1.

Since 2013, electrical substation attacks have also been reported in South Carolina, Arkansas, Utah, Oregon, Washington and California. A man was arrested in Nevada, charged with setting fire to a solar facility.

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