A Call to Regulators: Do More to Protect Electricity Infrastructure

America’s electricity infrastructure is vulnerable to physical attack. And while federal regulators have known this for years, they’ve been slow to compel security upgrades.
March 17, 2014, 12pm PDT | Anna Bergren Miller | @abergrenmiller
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A confidential Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report disclosed in the Wall Street Journal last week revealed that a coordinated attack on as few as nine specific substations could cause coast-to-coast blackouts. Yet FERC hadn’t updated its rules concerning physical security until last month, when the news media reported on an April 2013 shooting attack on 17 California substations.

“[T]he commission’s efforts to improve security is a welcome development,” the Los Angeles Times editorial board writes. “but as part of that work, FERC should also address the frightening challenges posed by the grid’s reliance on custom-fitted equipment that can take months, if not years, to replace.”

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Published on Sunday, March 16, 2014 in Los Angeles Times
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