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Colonial Pipeline cyberattack: Republicans demand more action from Biden energy security

May 12, 2021

The shutdown of a major fuel pipeline should be a wake-up call to the Biden administration that the U.S. needs to be investing more in oil and gas production and strengthening its ability to combat cyberattacks, according to several Republicans.

"This is critical infrastructure," said Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, whose district includes the oil-producing Permian Basin. "The industry of providing fuel to heat and cool homes to allow transportation to happen is critical infrastructure."

Pfluger hopes this attack helps the Biden administration rethink its "war" on fossil fuels and shutdown of the Keystone XL pipeline. He also thinks the temporary shutdown may help Americans realize how the oil and gas industry powers their lifestyle and travel plans.

"I hope it's a wake-up call for Americans," Pfluger, an Air Force veteran, told Fox News.

"This just underscores and highlights exactly why we need energy independence and the dominance that we have as the No. 1 producer in the world," he said. "We cannot be dependent on other countries. In fact, we need more energy infrastructure, not less."

Rep. August Pfluger represents Texas's 11th congressional district and says America's energy independence is a national security issue. (Marisa Schultz/Fox News)

The Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, was hit by a cyberattack on Friday. The attack raised concerns, once again, about the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructure. 

The fifth day of the pipeline shutdown is now having real-world effects on motorists, as some East Coast gas stations are experiencing long lines, price increases and fuel shortages. 

North Carolina and Virginia have already declared a state of emergency due to fuel supply concerns. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm urged people not to hoard gasoline in the meantime and said Colonial will be able to restart most of its operations by the end of the week.