Biden order rescinds Trump effort to limit foreign involvement in US power grid

President Joe Biden came into office with a clear desire to reverse a number of his predecessor’s accomplishments.

As one notable example, he rescinded an order that then-President Donald Trump implemented in May with the intention of keeping foreign companies from becoming involved in the U.S. power grid.

On his first day in office

The move came last week as part of a sweeping executive order that, among other things, canceled the permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Theoretically, the action could allow Chinese companies — and its Communist regime — to be involved in building bulk power systems for the United States, which would give them the opportunity to exploit potential vulnerabilities therein.

Biden’s move was announced as part of his Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, an action primarily focused on provisions aimed at addressing a variety of climate-related concerns.

He signed the order on his first day in office, signaling major changes in policy related to energy and environmental policies.

In Trump’s order last year, his administration recognized that foreign firms, particularly those based in China, could take out a portion of the U.S. power grid or otherwise compromise domestic security if allowed to be involved in its building or maintenance.

“Less capable of acting in defense”

As the original order explained: “Foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in the United States bulk-power system, which provides the electricity that supports our national defense, vital emergency services, critical infrastructure, economy, and way of life.”

Trump proclaimed that the nation’s “bulk-power system is a target of those seeking to commit malicious acts against the United States and its people, including malicious cyber activities, because a successful attack on our bulk-power system would present significant risks to our economy, human health and safety, and would render the United States less capable of acting in defense of itself and its allies.”

Biden’s subsequent action provides a clear delineation between his fledgling administration’s position on China and the executive branch’s stance over the previous four years.

Of course, the language in Biden’s order provides some hope to those who would like to see the Trump-era restriction implemented again.

Subpoint C of the order indicates that Trump’s order would be “suspended of 90 days,” which is sometimes included to provide a new administration with sufficient time to review a previous order.

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