A threat to the U.S. power grid?

e13-iconAn attack on a California power station last year “appears to be preparation for an act of war,” according to a senior technical executive for the Electric Power Research Institute, the Wall Street Journal reports.

After the attack, Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, flew to California accompanied by experts from the U.S. Navy’s Dahlgren Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, where Navy SEALs train.

After walking the site with PG&E officials and FBI agents, Mr. Wellinghoff said, the military experts told him it looked like a professional job.

In addition to fingerprint-free shell casings, they pointed out small piles of rocks, which they said could have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots.

“They said it was a targeting package just like they would put together for an attack,” Mr. Wellinghoff said.

Wellinghoff branded this as “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred.”

On the one hand this attacks appears to have been meticulously planned and professionally executed, yet to what end? It’s primary effect appears to have been to provoke fears of a larger attack, or even — at the hyperbolic level of interpretations — the fear of war.

One can’t discount the possibility that some as-yet unknown group has the ambition of crippling America’s energy supply. Yet if they were willing to go to these lengths to plan such an operation, why would they have exposed their hand and given the utility industry a heads-up on what to expect?

Just as plausible, if not more so, is the possibility that the goal of whoever carried this out has already been accomplished.

That is to say, it’s purpose may have been simply to elevate fear of domestic terrorism.

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1 thought on “A threat to the U.S. power grid?

  1. Steve Zerger

    And meanwhile the western drought drags on and each day brings us closer to the shut-down of the turbines at the Lake Powell and Lake Meade dams.

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