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This report describes in detail the energy industry's challenges and solutions for protecting critical assets including oil and gas infrastructure, transmission grids, power plants, storage, pipelines, and all aspects of strategic industry assets. It includes a special section on Cyber-terrorism and protecting Control Systems.
Recent terrorist activities like the China hacker attack on global oil and gas companies - as reported by security company McAfee, have raised several critical questions:
- How can the U.S. defend itself against future attacks on critical infrastructure such as energy systems?
- Are energy supplies vulnerable to attack, and if so - how and where?
- How can energy generating and storage facilities be made safer?
- How can we protect transportation systems and transmission lines?
- How are government and industry leaders working together to develop contingency plans to protect the public?
- What policies would enhance U.S. energy security?
- What are the roles of industry and government?
Energy security is a complex, multi-faceted issue. In its most fundamental sense, energy security is assured when a nation can deliver energy economically, reliably, in an environmentally sound and safe manner, and in quantities sufficient to support its economic and defense needs. To do this requires policies that support expansion of all elements of the energy supply and delivery infrastructure, with sufficient storage and generating reserves, diversity, and redundancy to meet the demands of economic growth.
The threats facing the nation's critical energy infrastructure continue to evolve and present new challenges. The intricate nature of the nation's electrical grid, especially in the Western U.S. and particularly in the State of California, is becoming readily apparent with rolling blackouts and the potential for further disruptions. The interdependencies of the oil, natural gas, and electric infrastructures are increasingly complex and not easily understood. The impact of a major terrorist attack directed against this fragile and interdependent infrastructure could have drastic consequences.
Conflict over resources stretches far back in human history, and energy infrastructures have long been subject to planned attacks. For instance, the New World Liberation Front bombed assets of the Pacific Gas & Electric Company over 10 times in 1975 alone. Members of the Ku Klux Klan and San Joaquin Militia were convicted of conspiring or trying to attack energy infrastructure. Organized paramilitaries have had significant impacts in some countries. For example, the Farabundo-Marti National Liberation Front interrupted service in up to 90% of El Salvador at a time and created manuals for attacking power systems.
This report examines the current state of the industry, and provides insights on all aspects of infrastructure and asset protection and recovery.
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Publication Date: October 2010
Publisher: Energy Business Reports