Critical infrastructure

Expert Voices

Green New Deal could support needed upgrades to energy infrastructure

A down transformer is photographed in Paradise, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.
A downed transformer in Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 10, 2018. Photo: Randy Vazquez/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The sweeping ambition of the Green New Deal (GND) has raised questions about how it will be paid for. But it’s important to consider how its potential outlays might intersect with investments that will need to be made anyway to replace aging U.S. energy infrastructure.

The big picture: The U.S. already needs to increase its infrastructure investment by more than $3.8 trillion by 2040 in clean water, energy and electricity, transportation networks and telecommunications. The GND could offer a way for policymakers to direct the infrastructure repair and upgrading that already needs to be done in service of fighting climate change.

Report: Russia supported industrial controls cyberattack in 2017

Vladimir Putin looks stoic before gold background.
Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The Russian-owned Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics supported the development and injection of the TRITON malware that intruded in an industrial plant last year in Saudi Arabia, according to a new assessment by cybersecurity firm FireEye.

Why it matters: FireEye assessed last year that the attack was intended to cause physical damage by preventing Schneider Electric equipment from operating properly, and given how widely the equipment is used, it means the attack could potentially be deployed around the globe, per the New York Times. FireEye doesn’t go so far as to peg Russia responsible for the malware itself, but it does explain that Russia is behind the intrusion that allowed the malware to be injected and that the institute supported the malware’s testing.