Commission Blasts Journal for Report on Substation Vulnerability

Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 08:35 AM

By Melissa Clyne

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has criticized The Wall Street Journal for disclosing an internal report stating that a nationwide blackout could occur with the sabotage of just nine electric-transmission substations.

"Today's publication by The Wall Street Journal of sensitive information about the grid undermines the careful work done by professionals who dedicate their careers to providing the American people with a reliable and secure grid," the FERC statement reads.

"The Wall Street Journal has appropriately declined to identify by name particularly critical substations throughout the country. Nonetheless, the publication of other sensitive information is highly irresponsible . . . the publication of sensitive material about the grid crosses the line from transparency to irresponsibility."

The Journal reported this week that a previously unreported federal analysis shows that coordinated attacks in each of the country's three separate electric systems could render the entire U.S. dark "for weeks, if not months."

"This would be an event of unprecedented proportions," University of Texas at Austin electrical engineering professor Ross Baldick told the Journal.

The Journal did not disclose the list of the 30 critical substations studied in the FERC power flow analysis, which used "software to model the electric system's performance under the stress of losing important substations."

Former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff briefed the White House and Congress on the study's results months ago, according to the newspaper, following a shooting attack last April on a Metcalf, Calif., substation outside San Jose. In that incident, gunmen shot 17 large transformers over 19 minutes. No arrests have been made and no blackouts resulted from the attack.

While outages were averted, the incident demonstrates the vulnerability of power stations, according to a memo written by Leonard Tao, a FERC official. Tao's memo further states that "the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer," in part because so few U.S. factories build transformers.

One official disputed the report, telling The Journal grids are resilient and would be difficult to incapacitate.

New standards for protecting high voltage sub stations are in the works, according to The Journal, which reported that several unidentified large utilities are increasing security spending.

In a memo to the newspaper from Wellinghoff, he says bolstering security can be achieved.

"There are probably less than 100 critical high voltage substations on our grid in this country that need to be protected from a physical attack," he wrote. "It is neither a monumental task, nor is it an inordinate sum of money that would be required to do so."

Related Stories:






© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Calif. Bill Allows Families to Seek 'Gun Restraining' Order

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 08:06 AM

California would become the first state to allow family members to petition judges to take away relatives' guns if they  . . .

Body of Missing Arkansas Real Estate Agent Found

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:53 AM

Police have discovered the body of an Arkansas real estate agent in a shallow grave after she was reported missing last  . . .

Virginia Police: Forensic Evidence Links 2 Cases

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:44 AM

They both were walking alone, separated from their friends late at night on or near the University of Virginia campus. O . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved