Tuesday, October 26News That Matters

Tag: Pipelines

California Oil Spill Closes Beaches and Renews Call for Drilling Ban

Technology, World
In response to a question, Mr. Willsher suggested that an anchor might have hit the pipeline. He said workers from his company first saw the oil sheen on Saturday morning and began work to contain the leak. But some energy experts said the company ought to have learned of the leak before oil was visible because gauges that monitor the pressure in the pipeline should have alerted officials.Capt. Rebecca Ore, of the U.S. Coast Guard, said that oil had been found from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach and that the agency was helping to contain the spill with skimmers. The agency was conducting flights and reviewing models to determine the direction of the oil, which was heading south.Mayor Brad Avery of Newport Beach said “very little oil” was coming ashore on Monday. “I think the worst of it ...
Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico: What We Know

Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico: What We Know

Technology, World
Divers searching for the origin of a substantial oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — one of several spotted off Louisiana’s coast after Hurricane Ida — have discovered three damaged pipelines near the leak, though murky conditions on the seafloor prevented the team from finding the source.The Gulf of Mexico is covered with a tangle of pipes, wells and other energy infrastructure, much of it no longer used, as a result of generations of oil extraction there.Late on Sunday, Talos Energy, the oil and gas producer that had been tasked with the cleanup, said that it did not own the three damaged pipelines. The Coast Guard had previously said the spill was thought to be coming from an old pipeline used by Talos, the former holder of offshore leases in the area. The Houston-based company had been c...
China Breached Dozens of Pipeline Companies in Past Decade, U.S. Says

China Breached Dozens of Pipeline Companies in Past Decade, U.S. Says

Technology
The Biden administration disclosed previously classified details on Tuesday about the breadth of state-sponsored cyberattacks on American oil and gas pipelines over the past decade, as part of a warning to pipeline owners to increase the security of their systems to stave off future attacks.From 2011 to 2013, Chinese-backed hackers targeted, and in many cases breached, nearly two dozen companies that own such pipelines, the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security revealed in an alert on Tuesday. For the first time, the agencies said they judged that the “intrusions were likely intended to gain strategic access” to the industrial control networks that run the pipelines “for future operations rather than for intellectual property theft.” In other words, the hackers were preparing to t...
Keystone XL Pipeline Project Is Canceled

Keystone XL Pipeline Project Is Canceled

Technology, World
The Canadian pipeline company that had long sought to build the Keystone XL pipeline announced Wednesday that it had terminated the embattled project, which would have carried petroleum from Canadian tar sands to Nebraska.The announcement was the death knell for a project that had been on life support since President Biden’s first day in office and had been stalled by legal battles for years before that, despite support from the Trump administration.On the day he was inaugurated, Mr. Biden, who has vowed to make tackling climate change a centerpiece of his administration, rescinded the construction permit for the pipeline, which developers had sought to build for over a decade. That same day, TC Energy, the company behind the project, said it was suspending work on the line.On Wednesday, t...
Line 3 Protest Tests 2 of Biden’s Campaign Pledges

Line 3 Protest Tests 2 of Biden’s Campaign Pledges

Technology, World
In April, Enbridge’s chief executive, Al Monaco, said Line 3 was on schedule to be completed by the end of the year. Native American tribes see the construction as a violation of their tribal sovereignty, an issue that President Biden explicitly pledged to prioritize during his campaign.The pipeline would pass through treaty-protected tribal lands, they stress, including watersheds that support wild rice, a staple food and important cultural heritage of the Ojibwe People. And in the event of a spill, the heavy oil traveling through the pipeline could sink to the bottom of rivers and streams, complicating a cleanup, environmental groups warn.In recent years, protesters in Minnesota and across the country have faced a growing number of local bills, backed by the oil and gas industry, that in...
Biden’s Fossil Fuel Moves Clash With Pledges on Climate Change

Biden’s Fossil Fuel Moves Clash With Pledges on Climate Change

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — Despite President Biden’s pledge to aggressively cut the pollution from fossil fuels that is driving climate change, his administration has quietly taken actions this month that will guarantee the drilling and burning of oil and gas for decades to come.The clash between Mr. Biden’s pledges and some of his recent decisions illustrates the political, technical and legal difficulties of disentangling the country from the oil, gas and coal that have underpinned its economy for more than a century.On Wednesday, the Biden administration defended in federal court the Willow project, a huge oil drilling operation proposed on Alaska’s North Slope that was approved by the Trump administration and is being fought by environmentalists. Weeks earlier, it backed former President Donald J. T...
Colonial Pipeline Now Delivering ‘Millions of Gallons’ an Hour, Owner Says

Colonial Pipeline Now Delivering ‘Millions of Gallons’ an Hour, Owner Says

Business
HOUSTON — The Colonial Pipeline, which delivers nearly half the transportation fuel to the Southeast and New York area, resumed full operations on Saturday, eight days after it was shut down by a ransomware attack.It will still take days before gasoline stations around Washington, D.C., and the Southeast return to normal service, since nearly 2,000 outlets ran out of fuel and it takes time to restock.Prices at the pump have stabilized, though. Average prices of regular gasoline in Tennessee and South Carolina, two of the hardest hit states, rose by only a penny on Saturday, according to the AAA motor club. Nationwide, gasoline prices remained stable at $3.04, eight cents higher than a week ago. Prices in the states most affected by the shutdown rose by as much as 20 cents a gallon in the l...
Pipeline Attack Reveals Weaknesses in U.S. Cybersecurity

Pipeline Attack Reveals Weaknesses in U.S. Cybersecurity

Technology
For years, government officials and industry executives have run elaborate simulations of a targeted cyberattack on the power grid or gas pipelines in the United States, imagining how the country would respond.But when the real, this-is-not-a-drill moment arrived, it didn’t look anything like the war games.The attacker was not a terror group or a hostile state like Russia, China or Iran, as had been assumed in the simulations. It was a criminal extortion ring. The goal was not to disrupt the economy by taking a pipeline offline but to hold corporate data for ransom.The most visible effects — long lines of nervous motorists at gas stations — stemmed not from a government response but from a decision by the victim, Colonial Pipeline, which controls nearly half the gasoline, jet fuel and dies...
Colonial Pipeline Paid Roughly $5 Million in Ransom to Hackers

Colonial Pipeline Paid Roughly $5 Million in Ransom to Hackers

Business
In a separate ransomware attack on the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, hackers said the price the police offered to pay was “too small” and dumped 250 gigabytes of the department’s data online this week, including databases that track gang members.In his remarks on Thursday, Mr. Biden seized on the Colonial Pipeline hack as further proof that the United States needed to improve its critical infrastructure, and he urged lawmakers to back his $2.3 trillion proposal to rebuild roads, bridges, pipelines and other projects.Republicans have balked at the size of Mr. Biden’s proposals, accusing the president of wanting to raise taxes to pay for things that they do not consider infrastructure, like programs for home health aides. Mr. Biden has proposed to increase taxes on wealth...
Colonial Pipeline paid 75 Bitcoin, or roughly $5 million, to hackers.

Colonial Pipeline paid 75 Bitcoin, or roughly $5 million, to hackers.

Technology
Colonial Pipeline paid its extortionists roughly 75 Bitcoin, or nearly $5 million, to recover its stolen data, according to people briefed on the transaction.The payment came after cybercriminals last week held up Colonial Pipeline’s business networks with ransomware, a form of malware that encrypts data until the victim pays, and threatened to release it online. Colonial Pipeline pre-emptively shut down its pipeline operations to keep the ransomware from spreading and because it had no way to bill customers with its business and accounting networks offline.The shutdown of the company’s network, which includes 5,500 miles of pipeline that supplies nearly half the gas, diesel and jet fuel to the East Coast, triggered a cascading crisis that led to emergency meetings at the White House, a ju...