ASA recently took part in a Congressional staff briefing on the growing problem of copper theft and the Copper Theft Prevention Act (H.R. 6831). ASA was represented by Dennis Goode (pictured here) from M. Cooper Supply Co. in Mokena, Illinois. Mr. Goode shared his first-hand experiences with thefts from his company, as well as other instances throughout the PHCP industry. In his comments, he urged Congress to take aggressive action to address copper theft. “Law enforcement agencies need be given the tools to combat copper thefts, and the legal system has to take firm action to punish the offenders, from the thieves themselves to those who are fencing the stolen property,” he said.
In addition to Mr. Goode, speakers from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Coalition Against Copper Theft, and DTE Energy, a Detroit electric utility, explained the effect copper theft has on businesses and critical infrastructure, the tools law enforcement agencies have to combat copper theft, and the need for Congress to enact the Copper Theft Prevention Act.
The Copper Theft Prevention Act (H.R. 6831) is sponsored by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN). Since the briefing, similar legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate. S. 3666, Copper Theft Prevention Act of 2008, is sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Orin Hatch (R-UT).
In addition to the attention this issue is receiving in Congress, and because copper theft has created dangerous situations that have affected the well-being of our country, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation into the trend. The resulting report called copper theft “a threat to public safety and to U.S. critical infrastructure.” To read a summary of the findings and the complete unclassified intelligence report, visitwww.asa.net.