Wednesday, July 14, 2010

US senator warns of terrorist threat to oil rigs

While the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has put accidental spills squarely in the national spotlight, one U.S. senator is warning of another possible threat: deliberate sabotage. Democrat Jim Webb of Virginia is calling on the Obama administration to develop plans to safeguard offshore platforms from attack by terrorists. The senator, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made his case in a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

"While Congress will continue to scrutinize BP and regulatory agencies, I write to urge you to also be vigilant against deliberate acts, such as an attack or sabotage, that could similarly devastate the region," Webb said in the letter, referring to the Gulf Coast. But he wants the security plans adopted for all U.S. coastal areas. While there are no oil derricks off Virginia's coast, Webb, the state's senior senator, favors oil and gas exploration in Virginia waters. He also backs a controversial moratorium in deepwater drilling ordered by the Interior Department, until risks and safeguards can be better assessed.

Webb notes in the letter that the BP oil spill is the worst environmental disaster in the country's history. He said that, "With dozens of wells operating in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, we must employ policies that mitigate all types of risk." The senator said that a lack of vigilance on security issues "could leave the marine ecosystem, as well as certain areas of our national security, at great risk."



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I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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