The sabotage of just nine critical substations could leadto coast-to-coast blackouts lasting 18 months or more.
• The biggest challenge for utilities taking actions to improve physical grid security is an uncertain or difficult path to cost recovery.• While most utilities have identified their critical substations and taken steps to assess potential vulnerabilities and threats to comply with NERCCIP-014, 28% say they have not yet completed any further initiatives.• Natural disasters and aging infrastructure are considered the most severe threats for physical grid security.• A large percentage of respondents (40%) indicated their utility has not taken any hardening actions in the last two years to delay or limit damage of their critical assets from physical threats.• One of the biggest challenges for utilities recovering from major events is replacing large power transformers. Most utility executives surveyedbelieve that a national Strategic Transformer Reserve program is an important or critical need (see article on passage of Strategic Reserve Transformer Bill).• Utilities are planning a variety of approaches to hasten recovery from major events, including stockpiling equipment, benchmarking best practices with industry groups, hardening substations, and developing rapid recovery plans.
Why do I believe this? Because the evidence points to the likelihood that the San Bernardino ISIS terrorists disobeyed orders and prematurely initiated their attack on a relatively small group. The twelve pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammunition found in their apartment point to the realization that they were preparing for something much larger.
If you're a terrorist, you don't build twelve pipe bombs and then leave them behind during your attack. You use them in large crowds, of course, to maximize the bloodshed and terror factor. The very existence of these pipe bombs -- if indeed they weren't planted by the feds -- means that another, larger attack was in the planning stages and approaching activation.