Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Infrastructure Security: Issues for Congress [Updated March 16, 2005] [open pdf - 171KB]
"Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a hazardous fuel frequently shipped in large tankers from overseas to U.S. ports. LNG is also manufactured domestically and is often stored near population centers. Because LNG infrastructure is highly visible and easily identified, it can be vulnerable to terrorist attack. Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. LNG industry and federal agencies have put new measures in place to protect LNG infrastructure and respond to the possibility of terrorism. Nonetheless, public concerns about LNG risks continue to raise questions about LNG security. While LNG has historically made up a small part of U.S. natural gas supplies, rising gas prices and the possibility of domestic shortages are sharply increasing LNG demand. Faced with this growth in demand and public concerns, Congress is examining the adequacy of federal LNG security initiatives. Proposed legislation, including S. 684 and H.R. 173, would increase regulation of LNG security. LNG infrastructure consists primarily of tankers, import terminals, and inland storage plants. There are seven active U.S. terminals and proposals for numerous others. Potentially catastrophic events could arise from a serious accident or attack on such facilities, such as pool or vapor cloud fires. But LNG has a record of relative safety for the last 40 years, and no LNG tanker or land-based facility has been attacked by terrorists. The likelihood and possible impacts from LNG attacks continue to be debated among experts."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32073
National Council for Science and the Environment: http://ncseonline.org/index.cfm?