Press Releases

Burgess seeks answers on Colonial Pipeline
Posted by on May 12, 2021 | comments
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Washington, D.C. – On Friday, news broke that the Colonial Pipeline Company suffered a cybersecurity attack, causing a shutdown of their pipeline network. Seeking answers for the 26th District of Texas, Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) wrote a letter to President Joe Biden and to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone.

In the letter to President Biden, Burgess sought answers on the Administration’s response and how this can be prevented in the future.

“The Colonial Pipeline is a critical component of our nation’s energy infrastructure. It carries over 100 million gallons of refined petrochemicals from Texas to the East Coast, representing roughly 45% of the region’s supplies of diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel. If its operations are not quickly restored, energy prices will spike nationwide. Such a price increase could potentially spoil any hope of a quick economic recovery. This attack represents a dire threat to many American’s way of life and is the latest example of our critical infrastructure’s vulnerability to cyber threats from state and non-state actors….

“To restore that confidence, I respectfully request comprehensive answers to the following questions:

  1. Is the FBI confident this attack can be attributed to Darkside alone and that no adversarial nation-states were involved?
  2. Is the federal government providing any resources to the Colonial Pipeline Company to ensure pipeline operations can resume as quickly as possible?
  3. Will you commit to any action that ensures domestic supplies of refined petrochemical products can be delivered to consumers throughout the United States, including temporary waivers to the Jones Act and federal limits on the gross weight of fuel delivery vehicles?
  4. How do you plan to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice?
  5. How is your administration coordinating with the many individuals and agencies with responsibility over cybersecurity to prepare for and prevent future attacks?
  6. When you issue your executive order on federal cybersecurity, will this order clearly delineate the various lines of authority and jurisdiction between the various agencies that have responsibilities in cyber space?
  7. Does your administration have a comprehensive national cyber strategy? If so, how would this strategy apply to the private sector?

“Americans deserve reliable access to affordable, domestic energy products. This attack is only the latest threat to our nation’s security, economic recovery, and energy independence. Our nation’s energy infrastructure needs to be modernized and made more resilient to all threats natural and man-made, especially in the cyber domain. I look forward to your prompt attention to the above questions,” Burgess wrote.

In the letter to Chairman Pallone, Burgess requested a classified briefing for Energy and Commerce Committee Members from the Department of Energy, which is the lead federal agency overseeing the response.

Read the letter to President Biden, here.
Read the letter to Chairman Pallone, here.

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