The chaos and panic set off when Colonial Pipeline shut down 45% of the East Coast’s fuel supply to protect its billing system after a ransomware attack shows how tenuous American energy stability is, and reflects how ill-prepared the nation’s grid and energy systems are to face 21st century threats like climate change, the New York Times reports. A climate-fueled heatwave last summer put the California grid under so much stress a mistake by PG&E caused rolling blackouts and a deep freeze in Texas last February caused widespread gas system failures that led to at least 111 deaths. President Biden’s infrastructure plan would put $100 billion toward improving the grid, including cybersecurity protections.
“Our traditional strategies for producing and delivering energy are under threat by climate and by cyberterrorists,” EDF’s Mark Brownstein told the Times. “As we move toward a cleaner and more sustainable energy future, we also need to move toward one that fundamentally has more resilience.” (New York Times $)