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Career pipeliner says Colonial hack could have been much worse

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 7:43 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Sonny Mason spent fifty years building pipelines that carry fuel to people all over the country and in other parts of the world. The 78-year-old Mason even helped build the Colonial Pipeline in the 1960s.

“It was finished about 1964, 65, they finished it. That was one of the first jobs I worked on,” Mason said.

He says the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack should be a wake up call to better protect our vulnerable infrastructure, and he says pipelines should be at the top of the priority list.

“That’s the cheapest, fastest way to transport oil and gas across the United States and the safest way. Power plants can’t operate without oil and gas, so you need to protect these pipelines,” Mason said.

Mason says what happened could have been much worse.

“This cyberattack is bad. It shut it down. They could’ve done a whole lot worse to that pipeline and those people around it,” Mason said.

Mason said there could have even been a threat of explosions.

He also says if the shutdown goes on much longer, it will start affecting fuel prices.

“If they don’t get it up and running in another week or so, it’s really going to really start affecting the price of gas and diesel fuel and oil all over the United States, not just the South and the East coast.”

Mason says there are so many pipelines in Louisiana, a map looks like a handful of spaghetti.

He also says politicians need to make sure our infrastructure is safe and secure from hackers and terrorists, especially pipelines.

Mason says resuming the flow of diesel and gas through the pipeline is not like flipping a light switch and takes more time.

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