WASHINGTON Feb 7 Senate Democrats urged U.S.
power regulators on Friday to consider whether additional safety
standards were needed to protect power plants after a sniper
attack disrupted operations at a California utility last year.
Calling the April 2013 attack in California's Silicon Valley
a "wake-up call," the lawmakers said the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission and North American Electric Reliability
Corporation should weigh enacting mandatory rules to increase
protection at utilities.
"We are concerned that voluntary measures may not be
sufficient to constitute a reasonable response to the risk of
physical attack on the electricity system," the senators said in
a letter on Friday to the regulators. It was signed by Senate
majority leader Harry Reid, outgoing energy committee head Ron
Wyden, intelligence committee head Dianne Feinstein and
Minnesota Democrat Al Franken.
Unknown assailants fired a high-powered rifle at electric
transformers owned by PG&E Corp's Pacific Gas and
Electric utility, hitting the structures more than 100 times.
Last week, the senators met with government and industry
officials to discuss the utility sector's response to the
shooting incident and efforts to prevent similar physical