Sunday, September 4, 2011

Theft threatens U.S. energy infrastructure

Most people don't perceive industrial theft as something that could impact their lives without warning.

But a recent Department of Energy memo suggests even the electric or phone service in your home is at risk:

A series of news articles during the last several months have reported increased thefts of copper nationally, including several that have interrupted electrical distribution and telephone service in communities across the country. These thefts have also adversely impacted new construction projects, irrigation systems and other infrastructure projects. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported in an unclassified intelligence assessment that copper thefts threaten the critical infrastructure of the United States. Further, an October 2010 report by the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability entitled, “An Updated Assessment of Copper Wire Thefts from Electric Utilities,” revealed that U.S.-based utility companies suffer several million dollars worth of copper thefts yearly...

As the economy declines, look for copper thefts to increase. And utility services we now take for granted may be increasingly subject to disruption.

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