Sen. Schumer Presents Bill To Close Security Loophole At Utilities

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer unveiled new legislation Sunday that would change a loophole in the law that doesn’t require workers hired at most power plants to undergo FBI background checks even though a federal report warns the plants are a likely route for terrorists.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

Schumer cited a recent Department of Homeland Security that found disgruntled former employees have sensitive inside information that would be sought by terrorists. The report also says current employees have been solicited by unidentified outsiders.

“Power plants and utilities present a tempting and potentially catastrophic target to extremists who are bent on wreaking havoc on the United States, which is why thorough background checks on all workers with access to the most sensitive areas of these operations are a must,” Schumer said.

“It comes as a surprise that power plants other than nuclear that represent top terrorist targets are not even authorized to check their employees against the fbi background check database,” Schumer said.

Without this measure, Schumer says extremists could get access to these plants.

“An attack on a power plant could generate massive economic damage and loss of life,” Schumer said. “So it’s baffling that workers with access to this most critical and sensitive power infrastructure in the nation are not required to undergo background checks before assuming their position.”

Schumer said a federal report in the fall of 2010 shows that al-Qaeda is recruiting terrorists to work in sensitive locations such as electric, gas and water utilities.

“The DHS report is a wake-up call that we must ensure those with access to our most critical infrastructure and our power supplies, are not compromised by extremist influences,” Schumer said.

Nuclear power plants are currently required to conduct FBI background checks for all employees, but utilities and power plants aren’t covered.

Schumer’s bill would require a FBI criminal history check that includes analyzing fingerprints. The process would be paid for with fees paid to the FBI for each analysis.

What do you think of the bill? Sound off below in our comments section…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • The Facts

    Politicians are never right all of the time or wrong all of the time. Seems that Schumer got this one right. Give credit when it’s due.

  • Mr. Burns

    Why wasn’t Chuckie worried about power plant security before now?

    • lydiass

      We should worry about the illegal immigrants pouring into Calif. shores and leaving empty boats in Orange County and Malibu. Where is homeland security on this, where are the immigrants and did they have weapons, and what nationality were they.
      I am a 26 years old nurse, young and beautiful. Now I am seeking an older gentle man who can give me real love , so i got a username Annababe2011 on—a’ge’l’es’s’da’te. C óM—it is the first and best club for y’ounger women and older men, or older women and younger men,to int’eract with each other. Maybe you wanna ch’eck it out or tell your friends.

  • pete

    Now, Schumer is blowing hot air again, something he does best. Remember his fight against high gas prices? They have gone up since! What a bullsh..t artist!

  • DanTe

    Ooops. There goes all the union workers.

  • All fo tha money

    Schumer is a skeevy vote seeking low life

  • KC

    Yes, it’s the weekend and time for Chuckie to pop up for his close-up issue of the week. This weasel has no shame. These issues have merit of course, but you never hear a follow-up after Chuckie does his customary weekend session. He’s an obnoxious, egomaniac like Anthony “Quick Zipper” Weiner. I hope people wake-up soon.



  • xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Schumer is a waste and a parasite on the tax dollars of the American people.We can only pray someone ends his agenda soon and I think someone will

  • Givelte Fishermen

    Look at the author, and his agenda. Look at Schumer and his agenda. These people (or Zionism, for that fact out, every time we cower in fear to the phantoms of their creation. They benefit with more police restraints that they claim are aimed toward the presence of Israel, while we all loose more freedom.


    Ron Paul in2012

  • Frayedknot1

    Thank’s Glenn, now the terrorists who weren’t thinking of this way to strike terror have new energy. As almost all business is for sale to highest private donor, as well almost anyone can be bought as we know from our own politicians in any city or state. Just. If someone wants info on power plant they won’t worry about a law some grandstanding idiot puts on the books. We should worry about the illegal immigrants pouring into Calif. shores and leaving empty boats in Orange County and Malibu. Where is homeland security on this, where are the immigrants and did they have weapons, and what nationality were they. No One Knows. So lets spend time creating new laws criminals and terrorists won’t read or care about.

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