Imagine a world without electricity. Not just for a few days in a limited area, like after a storm. I’m talking about every American across the country unable to conduct ordinary business, heat their homes, access money or keep food fresh – for weeks or even months.
And now imagine this scenario caused not by an act of God, but by terrorists.
It could happen. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) says that terrorists could shut down the U.S. power grid for more than a month by sabotaging just nine of the more than 55,000 electric substations spread across the nation.
Beyond that, there are another 30 crucial facilities that use large transformers to boost voltage over long distances. Most are protected by no more than a chain-link fence. Maybe a security guard if we’re lucky. Taking them out could cripple us.
This is just some of what would happen:
- Water would no longer pump into most homes.
- Food in our homes and supermarkets would spoil.
- Your computer would not work. Goodbye, Internet.
- Your phone wouldn’t work. You couldn’t call 911.
- ATM machines would shut down.
- Debit cards and credit cards wouldn’t work.
- No TV. No radio.
- Gas pumps would stop.
Good thing no one wants to take out our grid, eh?
Well, hold on to your hat. A year ago, snipers opened fire on transformers at a PG&E Corp. power station, near San Jose, Calif.
The snipers knocked out 17 of the big transformers, causing millions of dollars in damage. The attack plunged the region into a blackout. It took utility workers