Maritime Security: Federal Efforts Needed to Address Challenges in Preventing and Responding to Terrorist Attacks on Energy Commodity Tankers, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 5MB]

"U. S. energy needs rest heavily on ship-based imports. Tankers bring 55 percent of the nation's crude oil supply, as well as liquefied gases and refined products like jet fuel. This supply chain is potentially vulnerable in many places here and abroad, as borne out by several successful overseas attacks on ships and facilities. GAO's review addressed (1) the types of threats to tankers and the potential consequences of a successful attack, (2) measures taken to protect tankers and challenges federal agencies face in making these actions effective, and (3) plans in place for responding to a successful attack and potential challenges stakeholders face in responding. GAO's review spanned several foreign and domestic ports, and multiple steps to analyze data and gather opinions from agencies and stakeholders. GAO recommends that cognizant agencies (1) plan for meeting a growing security workload for protecting liquefied natural gas shipments, (2) help ensure that ports plan for dealing with economic consequences of an attack, (3) integrate terrorism and spill response plans at the national and (4) local level, and (5) work to develop performance measures for emergency response. The agencies generally agreed with our recommendations, but the Department of Homeland Security took the final recommendation under advisement."

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