Energy Tomorrow Blog
John D. Siciliano
Posted May 20, 2021
Even before the Colonial Pipeline reopened after a criminal cyber attack, some were demanding action, including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Richard Glick’s call for mandatory cybersecurity standards.
The attack on Colonial caused major disruptions – underscoring the importance of getting the response right. Unfortunately, some in Washington can’t help but react to an issue before the facts are clear and before calm, rational analysis can guide the best response.
The fact is natural gas and oil industry has a long history of engaging and collaborating with the federal government to protect the nation’s vast network of pipelines and other critical energy infrastructure from cyber attacks.
Posted May 12, 2021
Since the Colonial Pipeline Company experienced a ransomware attack last Friday, the natural gas and oil industry has worked with government to bring a critical piece of infrastructure back online and use alternate methods of transportation to meet the nation’s energy demand. This is America’s largest fuel pipeline – spanning 5,500 miles from Texas to New Jersey – and normally delivers millions of gallons of gasoline, jet fuel and other petroleum products every day to consumers in the South and along the East Coast.
For now, industry stakeholders and energy experts are working with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in the Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies to alleviate short-term supply disruptions.
Posted May 11, 2021
The cyber attack on the 5,500-mile Colonial Pipeline that daily carries millions of gallons of fuel products from the Gulf Coast to New York and points in between, underscores some critically important points about the natural gas and oil industry – its resilience and agility in working to alleviate supply disruptions, the vital importance of investing in pipeline infrastructure for the economy and modern daily life, and the ongoing commitment by industry to protect itself and key assets from cyber criminals
Industry has worked and will continue to work with the Biden administration on actions to mitigate supply disruptions caused by the cyber attack. These include an hours-of-service exemption for those transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products to 18 states, as well as a fuel waiver for states under EPA requirement to use reformulated gasoline (RFG) to be allowed to use conventional gasoline amid the disruption – helping fuel suppliers manage inventories until Colonial returns to normal operations.
Posted May 10, 2021
Over the weekend, Colonial Pipeline Company experienced a cybersecurity attack, which has since been identified as ransomware, forcing the shutdown of one piece of U.S. critical energy infrastructure. Colonial Pipeline is issuing updates about their operations and response activities as well as precautionary and other measures they’ve taken to protect the safety and security of their energy systems. Read their press statements here.
As Colonial Pipeline consults with law enforcement and other federal agencies, the broader U.S. natural gas and oil industry continues to focus on mitigating cybersecurity risks and adapting to this evolving threat landscape. In recent months, ransomware attacks have disrupted public services in major U.S. cities as well as businesses in healthcare and manufacturing, among other essential industries. We encourage government policies that allow companies to innovate and refine processes that protect against future incidents.
API member companies are committed to protecting America’s critical oil and natural gas infrastructure, safeguarding intellectual property and providing affordable, reliable energy for everyday use.
Posted August 7, 2020
Modern, resilient natural gas and oil infrastructure is vital to maintaining U.S. energy affordability and economic competitiveness. As the industry undergoes rapid digitalization, reliability remains fundamental to energy operations, particularly as cybersecurity risks present emerging challenges.
The U.S. has been subject to an increasing volume of malicious cyberattacks from China, Russia and other foreign adversaries, posing a persistent threat to our national security and grid reliability. Within the next two years, 2.5 billion industrial devices will be brought online in the energy industry, meaning the need to protect our critical infrastructure assets has never been more urgent.
Posted February 1, 2019
Posted December 20, 2018
With the release of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on pipeline cybersecurity, conducted at the request of Senator Cantwell and Congressman Pallone, it has become apparent that there is lingering confusion about the security of natural gas and oil pipelines. So, let’s clear things up: industry is deeply engaged in efforts to understand the threat, coordinate with cybersecurity experts across the board, and stay ahead of our adversaries. Our industry utilizes best-in-class international cybersecurity standards, close collaboration with government, and proven frameworks that – in contrast to prescriptive government-imposed standards or regulations – are the best ways to stay ahead of emerging threats and bolster the cybersecurity of natural gas and oil companies and the energy infrastructure they operate.
Posted October 31, 2018
A new report illustrates just how prepared natural gas and oil companies are when it comes to defending themselves and American energy consumers against malicious cyber threats – a fundamental component of the industry’s resiliency and something we’ve demonstrated time and again.
Posted September 7, 2018
Cybersecurity continues to be a major focus of the natural gas and oil industry, which recognizes that the need to protect the country’s energy infrastructure is vital for our economy and security. According to federal officials, cyberattacks are increasing across many industries, which has the attention of corporate executives in our industry and reinforces their ongoing efforts to keep our nation’s pipelines and other natural gas and oil facilities safe.Even so, because natural gas is the leading fuel for generating electricity, there have been calls for congressional hearings to discuss threats to the U.S. natural gas pipeline network. It’s a conversation our industry welcomes.
Posted August 10, 2018
A newly released report from the Natural Gas Council demonstrates the resiliency of our nation’s natural gas industry – even in the face of extreme weather events or direct threats to the system, whether physical or cyber.