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Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals

Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals
© Courtesy Colonial Pipeline

HAPPY MONDAY. Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day’s energy and environment news.Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at zbudryk@thehill.com or follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE

Today it’s pipelines all the way down as we examine what you need to know about the cyberattack that’s halted operations at a pipeline serving 45 percent of people on the East Coast, plus a look at President BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE's conservation plan.

 

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ALL DOWN THE LINE: Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week

The Colonial Pipeline Company said that it hopes to “substantially” restore the operations of its pipeline by the end of the week following a ransomware attack that led to its shutdown. 

It said in a statement that segments of the Colonial Pipeline, which transports oil from Texas to the East Coast, are being “brought back online in a stepwise fashion” and that its plan will take a “phased approach” for returns to service. 

“This plan is based on a number of factors with safety and compliance driving our operational decisions, and the goal of substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week,” the statement said, noting that the company will provide updates on its progress.

The story so far: Colonial announced over the weekend that it would shut down the 5,500 mile-pipeline after a ransomware attack breached its IT system. It did so to prevent the attackers from accessing its operational technology. 

The pipeline supplies about 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supply. Analysts told The Hill on Monday that the impacts of the shutdown would depend on how long the pipeline’s main segment remains offline.

Read more about the company’s announcement here.

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THE WILD COLONIAL BOY: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline hack

  • Hack sparks fears of gas price increase
  • White House irritated by lack of control
  • Ransomware is a major growing threat
  • US energy vulnerabilities exposed
  • Biden under pressure amid cybersecurity threats

Read the details here.

 

KING’S RANSOM: Colonial Pipeline attack underscores US energy's vulnerability

The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, the largest supplier of oil to the Northeast region of the United States, is underscoring just how vulnerable critical U.S. infrastructure is to cybercriminals in a way no previous attack has done, say U.S. officials and experts in the field.

The successful breach of Colonial Pipeline’s IT system forced the company to shut down 5,500 miles of pipelines to ensure hackers could not gain access to its operational technology.

The attack was shocking in some ways in that it illustrated how vulnerable a critical and large company such as Colonial Pipeline was to increasingly frequent ransom attacks.

What are the implications of the breach?: And it also showed such attacks have a far larger impact. The entire nation could see a rise in gas prices because of the attack on the pipeline, which carries around 45 percent of oil used on the East Coast and runs between Texas and New York.

Read more about the hack here.

 

CONSERVATION CONVERSATIONS: Three questions about Biden's conservation goals

The Biden administration’s report on its goal of conserving 30 percent of lands and waters leaves several unanswered questions, including how conservation will be defined and how it specifically plans to make sure such conservation is carried out.

Republicans, some of whom have expressed opposition to the goal of conserving 30 percent of the country’s land by the year 2030, are calling for more details. Some suggest Biden's goal could have bipartisan support if certain conditions are met, but the lack of clarity in the current report prompted criticism of vagueness.

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How do supporters feel?: And while some supporters of the so-called “30 by 30” initiative agree the report lacks some answers, they also expressed confidence that specifics are coming.

Read more about the plan here.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW:

  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing to examine equity in transportation infrastructure

 

WHAT WE’RE READING:

 Lightfoot halts General Iron permit after pressure from Biden’s EPA chief, The Chicago Sun-Times reports

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Venezuela needs $58 bln to restore crude output to 1998 levels -document, Reuters reports

State Environment Dept. Releases Proposed Rule To Improve Air Quality In New Mexico’s Most Ozone-Polluted Regions, The Los Alamos Daily Post reports

Hawaii’s Big Island On Pace To Meet Renewable Energy Goals In 2 Years, The Honolulu Civil Beat reports

 

ON TAP NEXT WEEK: 

On Tuesday:

  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing to examine equity in transportation infrastructure

 

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ICYMI: Stories from Monday and the weekend...

Farms' air pollution contributes to almost 18K deaths in US annually: study

White House downplays any supply challenge from pipeline attack

Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week

Pipeline shutdown prompts gas price fears

Colonial Pipeline attack underscores US energy's vulnerability

Regional emergency declaration issued over pipeline shut down after cyberattack

Three questions about Biden's conservation goals

Scientists train bees to identify coronavirus infection

Major US pipeline halts operations after cyberattack

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