Pipeline Security and Cybersecurity: Are Guidelines Enough To Protect Critical Infrastructure?

Since 9/11, no new rules or regulations have been promulgated to address pipeline or liquified natural gas (LNG) facility security or cybersecurity. Although the Transportation Security Administration recently released an updated version of its "Pipeline Security Guidelines" that were last issued in 2011, those guidelines remain advisory. And both the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have made only informal outreach to pipeline and LNG industry as issues have arisen.

As the threat of both cyber and physical attacks on critical energy infrastructure continues, however, some question whether minimal standards for prevention of threats should be in place. In particular, there has been recent attention by the US Government Accountability Office, members of Congress, and at least one Federal Energy Regulatory Commission commissioner. These discussions, along with recent proposed legislation in the House and the fact that the Pipeline Safety Act is up for reauthorization later this year, are likely to bring these issues into sharper focus.

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