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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Public-Private Collaboration is Best Cyber Defense for Pipelines

cybersecurity  api standards program  colonial pipeline  infrastructure 

John Siciliano

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.

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Colonial Pipeline Attack Emphasizes Energy Infrastructure Needs

colonial pipeline  infrastructure  us energy security  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 14, 2021

You can read the latest here on Colonial Pipeline’s restoring service on its 5,500-mile line that delivers million of gallons of fuel products every day from the Gulf Coast to New York. The company says the entire pipeline system has been safely restarted and was delivering product to all served markets.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said most areas should return to normal this weekend. On its website, Colonial said some markets may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions and that “Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.” The service station tracker on GasBuddy.com provides updates to specific locations.

While the cyber attack on the pipeline interrupted supplies at numerous retail outlets along the East Coast this week, the incident and response by our industry and associated sectors showed the multifaceted fuel supply system is resilient and works quickly to restore supplies during difficult circumstances – as it has following hurricanes and other unusual events.

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East Coast Fuel Delivery Progresses, Cross-Sector Action Needed to Meet Demand

colonial pipeline  cybersecurity  fuel supply 

Lem Smith

Lem Smith
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.

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Responding to the Colonial Cyber Attack – and Industry’s Continuing Focus on Security

cybersecurity  colonial pipeline  fuel supply 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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Protecting America's Critical Energy Infrastructure

colonial pipeline  cybersecurity  infrastructure  safety standards 

Stephen Comstock

Suzanne Lemieux
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.

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Lost Infrastructure is Lost Opportunity for Local Businesses and Communities

keystone xl  pipeline expansion  infrastructure 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted February 11, 2021

In the public debate over natural gas and oil pipelines, it’s often underappreciated how much infrastructure projects boost local economies and support “induced” jobs – those based on the spending of industry workers and associated suppliers and contractors. Losing these benefits is felt by all kinds of businesses and service sectors along the route of the canceled Keystone XL pipeline.

The industry shares President Biden’s goal of getting Americans back to work, and the U.S. can accelerate job creation by addressing the nation’s critical need for more energy infrastructure. Unfortunately, the decision to halt Keystone XL construction undermines the “Build Back Better” plan and hurts small communities and their residents.

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Early Missteps on Energy are Blows to Economy, Security

white house  keystone xl pipeline  federal leases  economic growth  jobs  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 25, 2021

It’s unfortunate that the Biden administration’s first couple of energy decisions – effectively canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and signaling it will halt new federal natural gas and oil leasing – work against economic growth and could undermine the nation’s energy security.

With the U.S. economy struggling to recover from the pandemic, there could hardly be a worse time for actions that kill jobs, potentially increase energy costs and cause the U.S. to import more oil.

Sure, the president promised these things during the campaign. Yet, it’s disappointing nonetheless that thousands of U.S. workers associated with building the Keystone XL are now without jobs and that a federal leasing ban could start a new era of increasing U.S. energy dependence. Coincidentally, the administration just unveiled its “Buy American” initiative. What about energy? How about “Buy American Energy”?

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Make Safety the Foundation of Your Home Improvement Project

811  pipeline safety  industry standards 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted August 11, 2020

On National 811 Day, we’re reminding DIYers to dial before you dig!

After several months of coronavirus-imposed quarantine, Americans are mastering the art of stay-at-home. With all those extra hours of downtime, people confined to their houses and apartments are cooking, crafting, exercising and, apparently, remodeling.

This spring, sales surged for home improvement equipment and materials at retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot, and recent polling from Bank of America shows that more than 70% of Americans have decided to tackle a DIY renovation project during the pandemic.

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Keystone XL's New Labor Agreement and the Politics of Pipelines

keystone xl pipeline  safe operations  jobs  labor unions  economic growth 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 7, 2020

News item from Bloomberg: TC Energy Corp. has reached agreements with four labor unions to build the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline – a move that could amplify political pressure on Joe Biden, who has threatened to rip up permits for the project even as he courts blue-collar workers.

Details in the announcement from TC Energy, Keystone XL’s builder: The project labor agreement (PLA) is with the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA); Keystone XL will have 10,000 high-paying construction jobs, primarily filled by union workers; 2,000 unionized workers will start building some of the project’s 28 planned U.S. pump stations this fall, according to Bloomberg.

Overall, Keystone XL is projected to support 42,000 U.S. jobs and generate $2 billion in earnings for U.S. workers during pipeline construction, according to the U.S. State Department, which also found that the project won’t significantly impact climate or the environment.


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Industry-Led Efforts Improve Pipeline Safety Performance

pipeline safety  infrastructure  industry standards 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted May 18, 2020

America’s extensive network of pipelines and energy infrastructure safely connects our abundant natural gas and oil resources with refineries, businesses and consumers. The U.S. liquids pipeline system, which stretches more than 218,000 miles, delivered 21.8 billion barrels of crude oil and refined products in 2018 – the essential link between domestic energy and Americans’ daily lives.

The industry’s commitment to safety and sustainability, through industry-led reporting, standards-setting and performance initiatives, has contributed to ongoing improvements in pipeline operations. This month, API and our partner associations released two new reports that show declining pipeline-related incidents and continuous improvement in environmental performance – both enhanced by growing use of safety management systems.

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