The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is a significant cyber threat to the U.S. electrical grid. Other threats are from Russia, Iran, North Korea, and assorted terrorist groups. All have demonstrated their ability to inflict electric grid harm in countries throughout the world, including the United States.
And, of course, the biggest threat to the American grid is “us.” To quote Pogo from Walt Kelly’s famous 1970 cartoon on humans causing pollution---“we have met the enemy, and he is us.” Our U.S. government's multi-trillion dollar mandated green energy transition is taking away resources necessary to upgrade and secure our existing grid and power sources. The results are fires in Maui and California allegedly caused by downed electric lines.
Without electricity, industry stops, hospitals are hampered (even with emergency backups), and the military is unable to defend the country. Millions would starve. Society would crumble, and chaos would ensue.
In 1977, New York City suffered a blackout due to lightning striking a small substation in upstate New York that fed into the grid. Riots and looting occurred in many poor areas of the city. In 2021 Texas suffered a major power crisis due to winter storms that disabled wind turbines and froze gas lines. Over 200 people died, and economic losses totaled over $250 billion.
Threats to the grid include:
● Cyber hacking
● Chinese-made electrical infrastructure equipment
● Electromagnetic pulses (EMPs)
● Open borders.
● Domestic terrorism
● Natural disasters
Cyber hacking by the CCP is an ongoing component of the unrestricted warfare being waged against the United States. Trillions of dollars in military secrets, industrial technology, intellectual property, and personnel information have been stolen from the United States by CCP entities through cyber penetration. Just because no known cyber attack against the grid has yet occurred doesn’t mean that the CCP doesn’t have the capability. The grid, in many instances, does not have hardened security systems against cyber hacking. Electric vehicle (EV) charging technology can be hacked, affecting the grid.
Power transformers are critical to the transmission of electricity. Installed at a power plant, transformers “step up” the DC (direct current) voltage so that it can be efficiently transmitted along high voltage grid power lines. Near the end users, transformers “step down” voltage to 440, 220, or 110 volts to power machines. Inverters convert DC voltage to AC (alternating current) voltage for everyday appliances. The average age of large power transformers in the U.S. is 40 years, twice their planned life span.
In 2019 a 500,000-pound transformer built by Jiangsu Huapeng Transformer Company of China was commandeered by federal authorities after entering the port of Houston. It was trucked to Sandia Labs in New Mexico for analysis. Reportedly, the transformer had built-in “back-door traps” that would allow an adversary to shut down the transformer remotely and thus shut down the grid. An estimated 400 Chinese transformers are in the U.S. grid due to winning bids with the lowest prices. The United States has imported at least 170 million inverters and 3 million electricity meters from China. It would take only nine substation failures to bring down the entire U.S. grid.
In May 2020, President Trump issued an executive order declaring a national emergency over threats to the U.S. power structure. It banned the use of equipment from a nation that poses a national security threat. President Biden suspended the order on his first day in office.
Electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) are a wave of electromagnetic radiation. It is like sunshine or a bright flash but on a different frequency. Electrons from EMPs interact with power lines, metal, and electronic devices. A large EMP from a solar flare or a nuclear device exploding high in the atmosphere over America would fry electronic equipment, computers, and telecommunications and knock out power. The nuclear device could be carried by a missile or a balloon.
Open Borders have allowed millions of undocumented migrants into the U.S.
Known terrorists have been apprehended; who knows how many terrorists have not been apprehended?
Domestic terrorism on America’s electricity grid infrastructure is of growing concern to security experts. In 2022 over 120 incidents or attacks were reported, an all-time high.
The U.S. power grid spans more than 7,300 power plants, 55,000 transmission substations, and 160,000 miles of high-voltage power lines, making the grid a soft target for terrorists. Thus far, security experts have not been able to identify an underlying ideology.
Natural disasters happen. The climate is changing as it has been doing for the past 4 billion years. Weather patterns change, seasons change, and the sun’s flares and emissions change. Volcanoes erupt and spew ash that is carried worldwide by atmospheric winds as the earth’s mantle crust moves. Earthquakes demolish infrastructures. Fires are ignited by lightning.
The ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue your enemy without fighting.” What better way to subdue the enemy than by bringing down the electricity grid in America? And the CCP is and has been waging “unrestricted warfare” against America since seizing power in 1949.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) now characterizes and understands modern warfare as a confrontation between opposing operational systems rather than merely opposing armies. War is won by the systematic destruction of the enemy’s operational system.
The cult of climate change and the search for the holy grail of zero carbon emissions is strengthening China at the expense of weakening America. Instead of spending trillions of dollars on intermittent power sources of wind and solar, electric vehicles, and batteries, the government should be investing (without increasing the national debt by trillions) in strengthening the electric grid. Let the market determine what kind of car people can buy and not skewer the people’s right to choose by establishing federal mandates and money bribes ($7,500 tax credits) in favor of EVs for the wealthy. Green energy is dirty energy built on the backs of slave labor, contaminates the environment, and fails to provide energy when needed.
Peace Through Strength!
Author Laurence F. Sanford is a veteran of the United States Navy and the Central Intelligence Agency and now serves as Senior Analyst for the American Security Council Foundation. To learn more about the American Security Council Foundation and its work go to www.ascf.usPlease donate through www.ascf.us to support the programs and mission of the American Security Council Foundation to educate Americans on issues of national security, economic security, and moral leadership.
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