Texas Electric Grid Update
“Only air and water are more important to sustain life than electrical power.” ~ Texas District 2 State Senator Bob Hall
A year ago, I joined a number of “Secure the Grid” colleagues at an Austin, Texas conference to discuss the existential threat to America posed by possible physical, cyber and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks on the nation’s electric power grid, or by a natural EMP event, a massive solar storm, that will one day certainly occur. Click here for The Texas Tribune report on that conference intended to inform Senator Bob Hall’s efforts to gain support for his resolution in the Texas legislature to protect the “Texas Interconnect” of electric power grid against those threats. And Click here for my May 3, 2016 discussion of that effort among others on the same trip, including Indiana, Louisiana and Alabama, to encourage a “bottom’s up” effort to protect the electric power grid.
Senator Hall’s resolution failed to pass out of committee last year — lost by a single vote; and he is trying again, supported last week by many of the same colleagues, though I had conflicts in South Carolina and was not able to join them this year. I am told his proposed legislation will pass out of committee overwhelmingly this time.
Importantly, it recognizes a unique reality among all the states: The Texas grid is contained within the state’s borders, giving Texas an opportunity to protect its electric-grid infrastructure as a model for the entire nation. If successful, it can set an example for the other interconnections illustrated below by the North American Electric Reliability Cooperation (NERC).
Senator Hall’s proposed bill, which calls on the Governor, Speaker of the House and Legislature to take necessary actions to harden the power grid against EMP to protect Texans now and in the future, is receiving support across Texas. For example, click here for the reception he received before the Kaufman County Commissioners last December — unanimous support for the Resolution he is now introducing in the Texas Legislature. More specifically, his proposed legislation creates a task force to assess vulnerabilities in the state’s electric grid and make recommendations on how to secure the grid against attack by September 1, 2018 at the latest.
Click here for a comprehensive Daily Caller report on last week’s April 11thhearing and here for the Committee’s 2-hour Youtube record of the proceedings. Notably, Senator Hall noted: “This bill would provide our state with a golden opportunity to ensure that when the lights go out in the rest of the country, they stay on in Texas.”
Most everyone expects Russia and China to have this capability. And I have joined others to warn that that North Korea already has nuclear weapons — many believe perhaps a couple of dozen with the prospects of many more — and the demonstrated means to deliver them by satellites that approach the United States from our largely undefended south. Moreover, Iran also has demonstrated this same satellite delivery capability and may have nuclear weapons, but can surely have them by purchasing them from their ally North Korea. All they need do to create a devastating EMP is detonate the nuclear weapon as the satellite carrying it passes over the United States — no special development is needed to reenter the atmosphere, as would be the case for the attacking traditional ICBM that is the main focus of the press.
Click here for a February 12, 2016 National Review article, in which I joined former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, Chairman of the EMP Commission Dr. William R. Graham, former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council Fritz Ermarth, and EMP Commission Staff Director Peter Vincent Pry in challenging those who grossly underestimate the already existing threat from North Korea and Iran.
To return to my main point in this message, Senator Bob Hall’s efforts are important not only for Texas, but also for all Americans because if he is successful in Texas, his success will be a model for us all to follow.
So, not only the “Eyes of Texas” are upon the efforts of Senator Hall. I expect considerable cooperation since we both got our start in South Carolina — Senator Hall from The Citadel and yours truly from Clemson. Hopefully, we can now exploit lessons learned from our efforts in the 1960s when serving in the U.S. Air Force and seeking to protect key strategic systems against nuclear, particularly EMP, effects (while they were highly classified).
Now we seek to protect America’s key critical civil infrastructure. Our federal government has never worked previously to provide that important, even vital, protection. All Americans need to be assured of the viability of the electric power grid upon which their survival depends.
Henry F. Cooper
THIS, folks, is what we get when we elect conservatives. When we elect RINOs, we get people who cannot even bring themselves to support a bill that protects women and children in public bathrooms and students in schools, because it might upset his seat on the Austin money train.
The above post is an excerpt. To read the entire article, click the link under the author’s name.