Thursday, February 06, 2014

Just How Badly Do We Need Obama to Step Up On This?

Now our national power grid has become a matter of national security:

A top former energy official claims that an attack on an American power grid was terrorism.

One or more snipers opened fire in April, knocking out 17 transformers that send power to Silicon Valley, the Wall Street Journal initially reported.

Officials moved the flow of electricity to another site to stop a blackout.

But the man who chaired the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, Jon Wellinghoff, tells CBS News it could be an omen for a future attack. "We have risks on physical security that were evidenced by this attack that have not been addressed that need to be addressed in my opinion, immediately," he said.

The FBI does not believe it was an act of terror.

No, it was probably just a disaffected gun nut, to be sure.

But it’s a really good excuse for Obama to make good on some vague campaign and executive promises he has made with respect to the power grid.

Infrastructure in this country is a joke. It should be the laughingstock of any decent civilized nation apart from ours. It’s tragic that most of the bridges in the nation are one good jolt away from collapsing. About the only infrastructure that is in any decent shape is the nation’s highways and even there, only where a Congresscritter decided to bring a little pork home and name a stretch of interstate after himself (looking at you, Bud Shuster)

The power grid is especially vulnerable and we only need to go back to August 2003 when a third of the country went dark for the better part of a week because of a software glitch in Ohio. This is not just about finding new energy supplies or upgrading the grid itself to a smart grid, but of decentralizing the grid and encouraging people to become energy producers, not just consumers.

You want to see the nation come together, fight global warming, and conserve energy? Get them to become their own utilities. When they realize there’s a profit to selling power back to the grid, they’ll be turning off lights in rooms, buying LED and CFC bulbs, putting timers and motion sensors in hallways and rooms, and upgrading to smart thermostats in no time at all.