Our Nation’s Power Grid Threats

Power Grid Threats

The Threat is Real

The threats of our nation’s power grid going down and causing massive social disruption are real. It was once best described by comedian George Carlin:

“This civilization of ours, that we’re so proud of, this civilization with its so-called civilized behavior—you ever stopped and realized how fragile all this is…how easily…[it would] break right down? Just break right down! Wouldn’t take much. Probably happen in less than two years. Wouldn’t take much … to throw us right back into barbaric times. All you’d have to do would be—eliminate electricity. That’s all. But…completely. Eliminate electricity. So, no electricity—no lights. You’re back to candles, lanterns, campfires, and bonfires. Batteries couldn’t be recharged. Generators couldn’t be refueled, because fuel is pumped electrically. So is water, by the way, so no lights, no fuel, no water. No computers—and computers run everything. And among the many things that computers run that operate on electricity are all of the security systems…”

Think of Texas in the Winter of 2021…

Millions of people were on boil water mandate, so people didn’t get sick from the water… There were 210 fatalities… Store shelves were empty within 3 days…

And the list goes on with the items that require power:

  • Medicine
  • Clean Water
  • Heat
  • Cell phone
  • Gas
  • Food
  • Money

All our homes, factories, businesses, and street lights require electricity…

Physical Attacks

The 2013 Metcalf Sniper Attack is solid proof that a physical or terrorist attack on our power grid can be accomplished. There have been many attacks that have occurred without the general public knowing about it – 700+ attacks on the grid since 2010. In fact, it’s so easy to accomplish that a person can buy a suitcased EMP (electromagnetic pulse) device and bring it with them to a power station to set it off.

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Cyber Attack

Cyber attacks are the most modern of attacks because of our massive growth in technology innovation and reliance. We are already witnessing this in near real-time from the Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine in 2015, putting 250,000 without power. There are 1000’s of attacks on the network technology of the grid every day. And yet, while we have plans for snowstorms, hurricanes, and earthquakes, we have no plan for a cyber attack.

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Act of War

Imagine this reality – A nuclear explosion in outer space sends a massive pulse that knocks out our power grid. The capability is so real that it is known to our military that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have “first strike” strategies in their war plans to take out our electric power system with an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack.

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Natural Disaster

There is a scientifically known disturbance called a Geomagnetic Storm – a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth.

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Power Companies

Currently, the utility companies are untouchable because the Council that oversees the industry is run by the very same utility companies. That being the case, industry lobbyists don’t want the inspections, oversight, or regulations that would be required to maintain a secure power grid – mainly upgrading the outdated software they manage today.

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There is no person, department, or independent agency responsible for the nation’s grid. Because of the wide variety of the aforementioned threats, the government cannot figure out which department or departments should be responsible for the security of the power grid. Hence, they don’t want to take it on the effort, and oftentimes, will even obstruct the progress of such efforts.

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