The proverbial Achilles Heel of not only the power of Western nations, corporate influence and profits, but also of the entire Modern, technologically-advanced world is the security of the power grid. Most in so-called “First World” nations seem to take the power grid for granted. A strong wind blows, hard rains pour and the lights go out. This power grid is incredibly vulnerable and the folks running the show know it. While they know the power grid could both be taken down easily, and could take down entire “First World” nations easily, they don’t – as of yet – have any serious solutions to this vulnerability.
That is, until now… The North American nations are now planning on coming together in an attempt to devise a contingency plan. A special $4.5 billion program – GridEx2 – has until recently been keep under wraps.
Government leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico have come together to stage an emergency drill called GridEx2 which purports to see how governments and utility companies might react to a massive national power grid failure – caused by anything from solar flares to EMP attacks – and collapse.
The National Academy of Sciences has warned for decades that that terrorists could destroy the U.S. power grid using EMP attacks. The fact that this has neither happened, nor do we have any public knowledge of such an attack being thwarted is more a testimony to the lack of will amongst enemies of the State, than it is lack of ability.
But former CIA Director R. James Woolsey explained that there are such attempts, but they are not being reported on when they are foiled: “The grid is under attack already, and regularly fending off hacking attempts.”
The New York Times called the electric grid “the glass jaw of American industry.” Matthew Wald writes that according to industry leaders, there is a private acknowledgment that “If an adversary lands a knockout blow, they fear, it could black out vast areas of the continent for weeks; interrupt supplies of water, gasoline, diesel fuel and fresh food; shut down communications; and create disruptions of a scale that was only hinted at by Hurricane Sandy and the attacks of Sept. 11.”
Scientific America says, point blank, that “U.S. Electrical Grid on the Edge of Failure,” explaining that “Network analysis suggests geography makes the grid inherently unstable”.
Facebook can lose a few users and remain a perfectly stable network, but where the national grid is concerned simple geography dictates that it is always just a few transmission lines from collapse.
That is why, according to Wald, this November 13th and 14th GridEx2 drill will bring together “thousands of utility workers, business executives, National Guard officers, F.B.I. antiterrorism experts and officials from government agencies in the United States, Canada and Mexico” in order to prepare are for an emergency drill “that will simulate physical attacks and cyberattacks that could take down large sections of the power grid.”
The official in charge of the drill, Brian M. Harrell of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, known as NERC explained the GridEx2 drill is working from a different assumption than all that came before it. Previous exercises were based on the erroneous belief that the grid “would be up and running relatively quick” following a major attack. That simply isn’t reality according to experts.
The drill is being planned while studies and works of fiction alike continue to discuss seemingly apocalyptic scenarios. More troubling than any fictionalized vision of such a grid failure like in the 2009 novel One Second After, this year’s novel, Gridlock, co-written by Byron L. Dorgan, the former senator from North Dakota, where “a rogue Russian agent working for Venezuela and Iran helps hackers threaten the grid”, or even the popular J.J. Abrams show Revolution, is the fact that the government and the media are keeping so quiet about the GridEx2 drill.
(By Ari Simeon; Image from JJ Abram’s “Revolution”)