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Columbia Energy Exchange

Lessons from Colonial: Risks to America’s Energy System

Last week, a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline system forced the shutdown of one of the nation’s most critical pieces of energy infrastructure, spurring price spikes and panicked buying to fill up tanks. While the pipeline is back up and running, the lasting significance of the Colonial outage–the largest attack on the US energy system in history–should not be overlooked. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Bob McNally and Adam Segal, leading experts on energy and cybersecurity, respectively, to examine what happened with the Colonial Pipeline system and what lessons should be drawn about the vulnerability and resilience of critical energy infrastructure. 

Bob McNally is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, and the founder and President of the Rapidan Energy Group. From 2001 to 2003, Bob served as the top international and domestic energy adviser on the White House staff. He is the author of the book Crude Volatility, published through the Center on Global Energy Policy book series.

Adam Segal is the Ira A. Lipman chair in emerging technologies and national security, and director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is the author of the  book The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age. Before coming to CFR, Adam was an arms control analyst for the China Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has been a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and Tsinghua University in Beijing. 

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