Colonial Pipeline cyber attack highlights need for real action and policy to fight 21st century war tactic

4 The Record

Congress historically slow to act and keep up with technological threats

New cyber security questions come after hackers put a major gasoline supply line out of commission for days, Illinois lawmakers weigh their options on a new energy reform proposal and Iowa’s governor says no more of the extended unemployment benefits from the federal government.

We covered all of that this week on 4 The Record with former Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert, a Democrat, and Rob Edel, a Vice Chair with the Scott County Republican Party.

Iowa unemployment

Governor Kim Reynolds says her state will stop providing the supplemental unemployment benefits.

These were implemented at the start of the pandemic to keep people afloat when businesses shut down.

They’ve been extended and there’s talk they could be extended again perhaps into next year.

Reynolds says people are taking advantage of the system because they’re making more by staying at home than going to work.

Democrats say that’s a generalization and plenty of people still need it.

Schwiebert and Edel discussed the ramfications of doing this right now when the pandemic continues.

Illinois energy

Illinois state lawmakers have less than a month to adopt Governor JB Pritzker’s ambitious energy plan.

It would keep utility companies from being able to automatically raise rates without proving why they need it, provide a $4,000 rebate for buying electric cars.

Exelon would see a drop of $6-10 billion in subsidies to keep two nuclear plants operating.

There would be a carbon fee imposed on businesses that’s expected to raise $500 million a year and it renews funding for installing solar equipment in buildings around the state.

Pritzker gets criticized by Republicans for not being business friendly.

Edel and Schwiebert addressed if this is another example of that.

Cyber warfare

We got another reminder this week about the country’s weakness in cyber warfare.

The shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline in a ransomware attack had real time consequences.

We’ve seen companies’ databases breached and government agencies breached at low levels.

This seems to be the first direct hit on something that disabled infrastructure.

It had lawmakers on Capitol Hill asking questions this week about how to stop this from happening again.

This is a topic I bring up repeatedly on 4 The Record.

Congress continues to be slow to act and most members have very little understanding of this high-level technology.

Schwiebert and Edel shared how confident they are that Congress will take it seriously enough to do something this time and what they think is needed to protect the American people, American businesses and the United States government from 21st century warfare.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

Question of the week

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