During a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, President Joe Biden suggested that the United States should prioritize training and equipping people with cyber security expertise amid the nationwide gas shortages caused by a ransomware attack on the Colonial oil pipeline.
“I think we have to make a greater investment in education as it relates to being able to train and graduate more people proficient in cyber security,” Biden said.
Biden emphasized the demand for advanced technical skills in today’s economy, and shared that Fortune 500 companies he surveyed during the Obama presidency all stated their desire for a more educated labor force.
“One of the most important things we have to do to reclaim our place as a leading innovator of the world is to have a better educated work force,” Biden commented.
“We need a significant larger number of experts in area of cyber security working for private companies as well as private companies being willing to share data as to how they’re protected themselves,” he continued.
The Colonial pipeline, which provides approximately 45 percent of all the fuel consumed along the eastern seaboard, was out of commission for four consecutive days after it it was hacked by a criminal group allegedly tied to Russia. The result has been a widespread fuel shortage in major cities, which have experienced long lines of cars waiting to fill up at gas stations.
The limited supply of gas due to the shutdown is likely contributing to the surge in gas prices happening across the country. This week, AAA pegged an average gallon of gas at $2.99, marking the highest price since November 2014.
Giving an update on the situation, Biden said, “I think we’ll be getting that under control.”
“In the meantime, I’ve lifted some of the restrictions on the transportation of fuel as well as access to the U.S. military providing fuel and with vehicles to get it there, to places where it’s badly needed,” he remarked.