Energy Report: Colonial Pipeline Pop

The cyberattack on the Colonial pipeline is an act of terrorism and is a major threat to the U.S. economy as well as the health and well-being of average Americans. While the cyber attack may have a short-term impact on the price of crude oil and gasoline prices, assuming they can bring the pipeline back online quickly, we can't ignore the fact that this attack, along with others like it, is a major national security threat. This vulnerability in energy infrastructure has to be addressed and not only by the government and energy companies but the creators of the software that has so many holes that have to be plugged. The attack shut down the country's largest pipeline that moves oil, gasoline, and diesel from Texas to the Gulf coast and could leave a glut of supply on the Gulf Coast and shortages on the East coast. Though most expect that the pipeline will be online soon, the company is not saying when.

Pump Jack, Oilfield, Oil, Fuel, Industry, Petroleum

Image Source: Pixabay

The Biden administration is moving quickly to address the threat. They have waved the Jones act so non-U.S. flagged oil and gas tankers can move fuel to the U.S. as well as lifting tanker driver restrictions in an industry where there are already driver shortages. Bloomberg reported that truckers delivering fuel to 17 states and the District of Columbia impacted by the Colonial Pipeline shutdown can temporarily drive more hours than normal each day under an emergency exemption issued by the U.S. government Sunday. The Biden administration also created a task force to try to address the growing threat to U.S. national security.

Colonial Pipeline released a statement that said that "On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack. We have since determined that this incident involves ransomware. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our IT systems. Upon learning of the issue, a leading, third-party cybersecurity firm was hired.

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