Only six TSA staffers are overseeing US oil&gas pipeline security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the US agency in charge of the US oil&gas pipeline system, has a serious staffing issue on physical and cyber-security positions.

According to a report published today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a bi-partisan government agency that provides auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for Congress, the TSA employs only six full-time staffers for its pipeline security branch.

These six staffers are supposed to handle both physical and cybersecurity risk assessments and reviews for over 2.7 million miles of pipeline that carry natural gas, oil, and other hazardous products across all of the United States. Although US oil&gas pipelines are privately-owned and thousands of private sector employees and contractors are providing additional security services, the TSA staff is the one who sets rules and enforces compliance, and the low number of employees tasked with pipeline security impacts the system’s overall security posture.

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