Seattle Area Could Run Out of Electricity

Several attacks on electric grid substations around Seattle have cut electricity to homes in the area. These appear similar to attacks in North Carolina. Experts have worried that the U.S. electric grid is vulnerable to shutdown. Therefore, what experts have been anxious about has started to happen.

The threat to the electric grid was supposed to be from bad actors outside the United States. This would be a form of international terrorism. The Northeast and New York City blacked out completely before as the system was overwhelmed by the air conditioning demand in the summer. The last of these happened on August 23, 2003. An accident at a substation in Ohio was partially to blame. That means an attack on a substation distant from a large city could be a problem, particularly when electricity usage is high.

The Seattle attack appears to have been made by “domestic terrorists.” The government, both in Seattle and federal agencies, have made the point that these attacks are not difficult to make. Not every substation in the country can be guarded.

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If the substations can be taken down easily, they are attractive targets because terrorists do not need sophisticated weapons, equipment, or even stealth. The Washington State and North Carolina incidents show that a loosely coordinated attack by amateur terrorists could damage much of the county.

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