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Admiring the Problem of Electric Grid Security

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Senator Johnson: “It is way past time to stop admiring the problem.”

Almost a year ago, Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, held a hearing entitled: “Perspectives on Protecting the Electric Grid from an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) or Geomagnetic Disturbance (GMD).”. Senator Johnson’s viewpoint is clear:

We have known about the existential threat posed by electromagnetic pulses (EMP) and geomagnetic disturbances (GMD) for decades. Because most people are either unaware of the danger, or view these as very low probability events, there has not been sufficient public pressure to take effective action to mitigate these threats. Instead, we establish commissions and study panels, conduct research, and develop plans to develop strategies. It is way past time to stop admiring the problem, and actually begin to do something concrete to protect our vulnerable electrical grid, control systems, and the ever-increasing array of electronic devices our society has become dependent upon.

According to Senator Johnson, the time for action is long overdue. I couldn’t agree more.

Why one citizen got involved in electric grid security

Admiring the Problem of Grid Security
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

After going over 11 days without power after the 2011 Halloween nor’easter, I had a Forrest Gump moment. You see, I had also been in New York City during the Great Northeast Blackout of 2003 and had to get home to Long Island from Manhattan in what seemed like a post-apocalyptic world without power. A few years before that, I was working at World Trade Center on 9-11 when the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil occurred.

This combination of events got me thinking. I had seen firsthand the vulnerability of our country to an attack. I was also coming to realize how fragile – and essential – our electric grid is to our very survival. It doesn’t take too much imagination to wonder what would happen if terrorists attacked the electric grid.

So I started to study the threats to the grid and what was being done. (Or more appropriately, what was not being done.) As I read more and more, I learned some very disturbing things. In addition to the obvious terrorist threat to the grid, I learned:

  1. The United States Senate recognizes that if the electric grid was taken down, millions of Americans could die.
  2. There is a 100% chance that the earth will be hit with a large solar flare – and presently, our electric grid is not adequately protected.
  3. A state actor (Russia, China, North Korea and possibly Iran) or a terrorist organization could conduct an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack – to which our electric grid is vulnerable.
  4. Not only have the Russians and Chinese been probing our electric grid for over a decade, but the “electric grid” itself is fighting efforts aimed at stopping them. (Read that again – there is no typo.)
  5. There appears to have been only minimal (if any) efforts to thwart a physical attack against the electric grid.

In summary: The electric grid – the largest machine in the history of mankind – could suffer a long-term, national-scale failure for any number of reasons caused by mankind or nature.

Most importantly, I learned that our government has known for decades about the threats to the electric grid. And our government has made pathetically little effort to protect us. What we have done is endlessly study after study, or as Senator Johnson noted, we continue “admiring the problem.”

Are we done admiring the problem of electric grid security?

I am. I decided to start doing something about it. First I wrote a book about what I had found and what people could do. Then I started taking action as a citizen to secure the grid. I have even filed a lawsuit against the federal government to attempt to force them to protect the grid. (See a partial list of what I have been doing HERE.)

Meanwhile, the electric utility industry is engaging in a Soviet-style disinformation campaign to downplay the threats to the grid. And if that isn’t bad enough, the electric utility industry has spent millions of dollars lobbying and making “contributions” to key Congressional committees who, not coincidentally, have failed to enact legislation to protect the grid. If you want to read about how badly the regulatory system has failed us, read my detailed report HERE.

The bottom line? Your family is in danger, and the government is not protecting you.

Take a moment to scroll through the library of government documents on grid security that I have collected over the last several years. We have been admiring the problem of electric grid security for decades. If you don’t believe the government is doing enough to protect your family – and out national security, go to the Take Action page to see what you can do.