News Roundups

Pipeline hack, Fed presses banks on climate, and more

Weekly news headlines about the stimulus and recovery from May 14, 2021

Pipeline Hack Points to Growing Cybersecurity Risk for Energy System

The audacious ransomware attack that shut down a major fuel pipeline and sent Americans scrambling for gasoline in the Southeast this week was not the first time hackers have disrupted America’s aging, vulnerable energy infrastructure. And it’s unlikely to be the last.

Across the globe, cyberattackers are increasingly taking aim at the energy systems that underpin modern society. A February report from IBM found that the energy industry was the third most targeted sector for such attacks in 2020, behind only finance and manufacturing. That was up from ninth place in 2019.

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Fed privately presses big banks on risks from climate change

The U.S. Federal Reserve has asked lenders to start providing information on the measures they are taking to mitigate climate change-related risks to their balance sheets, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

The previously unreported supervisory discussions highlight how U.S. watchdogs are moving to execute President Joe Biden's agenda to incorporate climate risk into the financial regulatory system, with potentially major ramifications for Wall Street.

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Enbridge continues Straits pipeline operation, defying Gov. Whitmer's deadline

In defiance of an order by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to cease operations by Wednesday, Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge continued to flow 23 million gallons of crude oil and natural gas liquids through Line 5, its controversial, 68-year-old twin pipelines on the Straits of Mackinac lake bottom.

Whitmer on Tuesday, in a letter to Vern Yu, Enbridge’s executive vice president for liquids pipelines, said continued operation of the line after Wednesday “constitutes an intentional trespass” and that the company would do so “at its own risk.”

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U.S. senator floats bill to aid states hit by federal oil leasing pause

Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich on Thursday introduced a bill that would help states that rely on oil and gas revenue weather the U.S. transition away from fossil fuels by offering federal support to help fill gaps in state and school budgets hit by a decline in oil and gas production.

The Schools and State Budgets Certainty Act would provide "energy transition payments" to states that rely on revenue from federal mineral leasing as a result of changes in U.S. policy to give them time to invest in new industries, the New Mexico senator said.

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Few Signs of Recovery for U.S. Oil Production, OPEC Says

American oil production is set to drop again this year, with the shale industry’s output showing few signs of recovery despite a broader pickup in economic activity, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Tuesday.

In its closely watched monthly market report, OPEC cut its forecast for the amount it expects production from its noncartel counterparts to increase in 2021 by 200,000 barrels a day to 700,000.

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