MidAmerican Energy: Be aware of suspicious activity near natural gas lines

MidAmerican Energy is raising awareness over safety and maintenance concerns about it's gas lines.

Thousands of people who live near MidAmerican Energy’s natural gas lines recently received a brochure in the mail advising them to keep an eye out for suspicious activity near those lines.

Though there is no immediate threat, MidAmerican Energy says the mailer is a good reminder to stay alert.

“Here at MidAmerican Energy, we want people to be aware of natural gas pipelines in their area and what (people) can do to make sure they are safe and operate reliably,” says Deric McLaren, program manager of the Integrity Management Program at MidAmerican.

Co-author of the article, Terrorism and Oil & Gas Pipeline Infrastructure: Vulnerability and Potential Liability for Cybersecurity Attacks, Joseph Dancy says the possibility of physical attacks on natural gas lines is very real.

“We haven’t had a major problem in the United States but the potential is there,” says Dancy.

According to Dancy’s research, there have been threats to pipelines in the United States before.

In 2005, a U.S. citizen sought to conspire with Al Qaeda to attack a major natural gas pipeline in the eastern part of the United States. Dancy’s research also talks about an incident in 2006 where federal authorities discovered a post online encouraging attacks on U.S. pipelines.

If you see suspicious activity such as people taking pictures of, or writing notes about a pipeline facility, MidAmerican Energy advises you to notify law enforcement.