House lawmakers reintroduce pipeline security bill after colonial hack
More than a dozen lawmakers on both sides of the aisle reintroduced a bill on Friday that would codify the agency’s responsibilities for securing the country’s oil and gas pipelines in the wake of a ransomware attack that disrupted the distribution of gasoline along the East Coast.
the Pipeline Safety Act, which was originally introduced in 2020 by Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), would codify the roles of the Transportation Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in pipeline security. He also calls on the TSA to develop a “personnel strategy” for staffing its security personnel as well as a deadline for updating its guidelines within one year of the bill being enacted.
The House Homeland Security Committee is expected to annotate the legislation on May 18.
The bill’s introduction follows a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline’s computer systems by the Darkside criminal group. The attack, which shut down the company’s pipeline for nearly a week, prompted lawmakers and government officials to reconsider authorities that TSA needs to secure the country’s pipelines and their use.
In an emailed statement, Cleaver said the bill “would protect pipelines from all threats, streamline federal authorities and strengthen TSA’s oversight of pipeline industry security.”
Justin Katz covers cybersecurity for FCW. Previously, it covered the Navy and Marine Corps for Home Defense, focusing on weapons, vehicle acquisition, and congressional oversight of the Pentagon. Prior to reporting for Inside Defense, Katz covered community news in the Baltimore and Washington DC areas. Connect with him on Twitter at @JustinSKatz.