30 March 2004 20:16 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNI)--The chemicals industry is a focused target of global terrorism and must act regardless of cost to prevent its production sites from becoming targets of opportunity, a leading energy and terrorism authority warned here Tuesday.
Amy Myers Jaffe, associate director of the Rice Energy Program at ?xml:namespace>
“Your industry,” she cautioned executives, “must ensure that your facilities are not seen by terrorists as unguarded, or they risk being targets of opportunity.”
Jaffe listed recent terrorist attacks, chiefly overseas, that struck or were targeted against petrochemical or fuel facilities as evidence that terrorist organizations recognize the value of such targets. And she cited statements by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that terrorists seek targets that have high symbolic value, would generate mass casualties, have great psychological impact or cause the greatest economic damage to the
She noted that last week's FBI public warning that refineries, petrochemical plants and pipelines may be targeted by near-term terrorist action should be reason enough to convince chemical operators that their facilities face actual risk.
She noted that 80% of world trade is carried by cargo vessels and that 75% of those vessels pass through key maritime chokepoints. She suggested that a major attack on one US seaport could, for example, force emergency closure of all major US ports for an estimated eight-day security shutdown at a cost of some $58bn (Euro47bn) to the US economy.
Jaffe also warned of the non-measurable impact of terrorism and even perceived terrorism. She cited recent public opposition in
She urged industry leaders and facility operators to spend whatever is necessary to ensure the security of their sites without regard to the perhaps remote probability of an attack.
“Your industry has a real problem,” Jaffe told the executives. “The EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] has identified 123
“The money you spend on security now,” she argued, “could save you money down the road.”
Jaffe spoke at the 29th annual International Petrochemical Conference (IPC). Sponsored by Washington, DC-based National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the IPC concludes today.
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