Budd Leads NC Coalition Asking for Answers on Colonial Pipeline

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Ted Budd led a coalition of six North Carolina House members to press the U.S. Department of Energy for answers and potential solutions to the Colonial Pipeline hacking and its effects.

Other signers include Reps. Virginia Foxx, Patrick McHenry, Dan Bishop, Richard Hudson, and David Rouzer.

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Secretary Granholm, 

We have been hearing directly from our constituents that they are feeling the effects of what appears to be gas shortages across North Carolina and much of the East Coast. As you are aware, the Colonial Pipeline Company was the subject of a targeted malware attack on May 7, 2021. On May 10, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that Darkside ransomware was responsible for compromising the Colonial Pipeline networks. 

Colonial’s cyber system shutdown that was necessary to stop the spread of malware has placed significant strain on refined gasoline and jet fuel transportation to our districts as the pipeline remains largely offline. Greensboro, North Carolina serves as a significant juncture in the pipeline system. Greensboro is home to the company’s largest tank farm, and the pipeline’s Line 1 carries approximately 1.4 million barrels of gasoline per day from the Gulf Coast for storage in the city. From its Greensboro hub, Lines 3 and 4 carry different refined fuels north to Maryland, New Jersey, and New York Harbor. 

While we are encouraged to hear from the Colonial Pipeline Company that a line which runs from Greensboro to Woodbine, Maryland will be operating under manual control for a limited period, so long as existing inventory is available, our constituents want to hear a clear timeline for full pipeline system resumption. Such a timeline will minimize insurmountable surges in demand at local gas stations. 

Consequently, we ask that your agency, as well as any other federal agencies that are significantly involved in mitigating this potential crisis, to provide Members of Congress with a comprehensive briefing as expeditiously as possible. Specifically, we would request that you provide: 

1) An up-to-date assessment of how much of the pipeline’s systems were compromised and how long it will feasibly take to have them return to full capacity. 

2) The specific efforts you and your federal partners are taking to provide help and expertise to get the Colonial Pipeline 100% back online as quickly as possible. 

3) A summary of any statutory power you and your federal partners may possess to ease or waive existing regulation and law to facilitate the transportation of oil and refined fuel products to the East Coast while the pipeline remains offline.

4) Recommendations to Congress on which sectors of our energy economy and infrastructure remain at particular risk of similar cyber-attacks. 

All of us have a massive interest in seeing the Colonial Pipeline’s systems come fully back online as soon as possible. We stand ready to aid you and your federal partners during this challenge and look forward to being briefed on this unfolding situation in the immediate future. 

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