Republican Senator Ron Johnson said Sunday, May 16, that the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack and the resulting suspension of the fuel transportation system have served to expose extreme vulnerabilities in the U.S. power and fuel grid, calling it “a diabolical problem” for which there is no easy solution while arguing that the Democrats’ Green New Deal would only serve to make the situation worse.
Johnson (R-Wis) was blunt about the vulnerability evidenced in U.S. energy transportation systems following last week’s cyberattacks. In an interview with John Catsimatidis on his WABC 770 AM radio show, while admitting that “there are no easy solutions” to cybersecurity threats, he asserted that the green agenda policies pursued by the Biden administration increase the vulnerability of the energy system, putting the entire nation at risk.
The aftermath of the catastrophic cyberattack on the Colonial pipeline by the Darkside criminal hacking group highlights once again how dependent the U.S. economic and social system is on its pipelines. America’s enemies know this, and the chaos of the last few days of fuel shortages was perhaps just a taste of what can happen if we don’t begin to value and protect the nation’s oil and fuel transportation system.
The pipeline shutdown affected gasoline supplies on much of the East Coast, causing thousands of people to stand in long lines waiting for hours at gas stations, a situation exacerbated by mass purchases caused by panicked shortages.
“The Cats Roundtable” host Catsimatidis asked Johnson about the possibility of future attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructure systems.
“Cybersecurity is a big problem, there are no easy solutions,” Johnson responded, adding that part of the solution is to hold cyber attackers accountable. We should “make them pay for these kinds of intrusions,” but far from it, the Biden administration would have paid what the attackers demanded to restore services. This sets a precedent that could translate into more attacks.
Johnson said a key lesson that should be capitalized on from last week’s cyberattack is “how incredibly vulnerable our fuel grid is, our electrical grid is.” “We are very vulnerable,” Johnson insisted, calling for more investment to shore up the grid’s resilience.
The senator lamented that the Biden administration, far from seeing the problem, is investing millions of dollars in infrastructure that is not so necessary, and in million-dollar investments aimed at new and experimental energy systems associated with renewable energy, when some of that money could be used to generate greater protection for traditional energy systems, which is the basis of U.S. military and economic power.
“We are a fossil fuel-based economy and will be a fossil fuel-based economy for decades,” Johnson said in Sunday’s interview, adding, “We need to recognize that, harden our grid under that reality, and don’t make ourselves more vulnerable with the Green New Deal.”