Joseph A. Blount Jr., president and CEO of Colonial Pipeline testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing on the Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack, on Capitol Hill, June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Graeme Jennings - Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The CEO of Colonial Pipeline, which underwent a ransomware attack in early May that led to massive shutdowns of gas stations across the Southeast, said during a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday that it was his decision to pay a ransom to restore the company’s operations.