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Terrorism and the U.S. Energy Infrastructure

NCJ Number
Terrorism Volume: 13 Issue: 2 Dated: (March-April 1990) Pages: 159-163
E V Badolato
Date Published
5 pages
The U.S. energy infrastructure is vulnerable to terrorist attack because of its widespread nature, the low level of physical security provided to protect its facilities, and the open nature of our society.
The U.S. has not suffered such domestic terrorist attacks for a number of circumstantial reasons such as the ease with which overseas facilities can be attacked, but the potential threat should be given careful consideration. A well coordinated terrorist attack could paralyze metropolitan areas and even whole regions of the country for weeks or months. There were 35 significant sabotage and terrorist attacks on U.S. domestic energy systems last year, and there are many foreigners in this country who are potential terrorists. Sabotage can be committed on the electric power system, the oil and gas transportation and storage system, and the oil and natural gas pipeline network. The Federal government should work with industry and the States to develop practical, cost-effective coordinated response measures to prevent a catastrophic attack from occurring.