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Issue Summaries

 Infrastructure Security 

Background

The nation’s energy utilities continue to examine their security practices by performing vulnerability assessments and making appropriate enhancements to their physical and cyber security programs. Such enhancements include supplementing current emergency plans with terrorist risk elements, strengthening physical barriers, tightening control access, adjusting frequency of patrols, and confirming response and recovery actions with local law and emergency officials. AGA member companies continue to monitor and respond to any potential threats to the industry. By participating in numerous information-sharing forums and practices, members maintain awareness of industry trends.

AGA members continue to work closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Congress, and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). Issues and initiatives on which AGA and these agencies have collaborated include the development of DHS’s National Infrastructure Protection Plan, the development of Energy and Transportation Sector Specific Plans, participation in the DHS/Transportation Security Administration (TSA) onsite company reviews of utilities and their security plans, development of the TSA Pipeline Security Guidelines, Oil & Natural Gas Sector Security Metrics, appropriate application of the DHS Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), establishment and active engagement in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council, enhancement of process control systems, cyber security, regional planning, protection of critical infrastructure information and cost recovery.
  

AGA Viewpoint

Efforts to enhance infrastructure security should include:

  • Voluntary implementation of appropriate, reasonable, and sound security guidelines (physical and cyber) and regional planning programs, thus removing the need for government regulation
  • Educate federal and state regulators on existing emergency operations and natural gas curtailment plans in light of possible threats
  • Strengthened national intelligence-gathering capabilities to increase specificity of threat information as it applies to the energy industry 
  • An established, coordinated approach with all jurisdictions to ensure that access to law enforcement and intelligence information is timely and actionable; minimizing  jurisdictional conflicts among government entities through preparation
  • Assistance for quick response and recovery by modifying or waiving federal, state, and local regulatory requirements, permits and criminal investigation
  • Protection of sensitive critical infrastructure information and avoidance of self-targeting of energy facilities
  • Encouragement of utilities to engage in table top drills at the corporate, local and regional level

AGA Contact: Kimberly Denbow, (202) 824-7334, kdenbow@aga.org

 
 

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