February 6, 2014, - 8:58 am
Terrorists attacked a major power grid in California, and the Obamaniks don’t care and are doing nothing about it. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman at the time of the attack is speaking out and says we should all be alarmed. And we should be. The story should be at the top of the news. But, except for the Wall Street Journal, it isn’t.
Famous But Incompetent . . .
Remember the 2003 blackout? About a third of the country, including yours truly, had no power for days. And Bin Laden publicly took credit. But we were told that attack on the power grid was “not terrorism” by the know-it-all-and-ignore-it-all authorities in the Bush Administration. Bush’s Arab, pro-Muslim, Hezbollah-buddy Energy Secretary, Spencer Abraham, was busy taking tax-paid junkets on private planes to London with his family and refused to return to address the first major energy crisis in America in decades. Now, we know that there was a repeat terrorist dress rehearsal for another one. And the Obama Administration and its FBI is doing the same thing: telling us, “nothing to see here; move along.” The thing is, there is plenty to see here. But few are noticing. Yesterday’s WSJ had a full-page, front-page story on an attack, last April, in the middle of the night, that has alarming implications:
SAN JOSE, Calif.—The attack began just before 1 a.m. on April 16 last year, when someone slipped into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut telephone cables. Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on a nearby electrical substation. Shooting for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley. A minute before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night.
To avoid a blackout, electric-grid officials rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity. But it took utility workers 27 days to make repairs and bring the substation back to life. Nobody has been arrested or charged in the attack at PG&E Corp.’s Metcalf transmission substation. It is an incident of which few Americans are aware. But one former federal regulator is calling it a terrorist act that, if it were widely replicated across the country, could take down the U.S. electric grid and black out much of the country.
The attack was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the U.S., said Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time. The Wall Street Journal assembled a chronology of the Metcalf attack from filings PG&E made to state and federal regulators; from other documents including a video released by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department; and from interviews, including with Mr. Wellinghoff.
The 64-year-old Nevadan, who was appointed to FERC in 2006 by President George W. Bush and stepped down in November, said he gave closed-door, high-level briefings to federal agencies, Congress and the White House last year. As months have passed without arrests, he said, he has grown increasingly concerned that an even larger attack could be in the works. He said he was going public about the incident out of concern that national security is at risk and critical electric-grid sites aren’t adequately protected.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn’t think a terrorist organization caused the Metcalf attack, said a spokesman for the FBI in San Francisco. Investigators are “continuing to sift through the evidence,” he said.
Yay! Sgt. Schultz is running our federal law enforcement terrorism investigations.
Some people in the utility industry share Mr. Wellinghoff’s concerns, including a former official at PG&E, Metcalf’s owner, who told an industry gathering in November he feared the incident could have been a dress rehearsal for a larger event. “This wasn’t an incident where Billy-Bob and Joe decided, after a few brewskis, to come in and shoot up a substation,” Mark Johnson, retired vice president of transmission for PG&E, told the utility security conference, according to a video of his presentation. “This was an event that was well thought out, well planned and they targeted certain components.” When reached, Mr. Johnson declined to comment further. . . .
Overseas, terrorist organizations were linked to 2,500 attacks on transmission lines or towers and at least 500 on substations from 1996 to 2006, according to a January report from the Electric Power Research Institute, an industry-funded research group, which cited State Department data. To some, the Metcalf incident has lifted the discussion of serious U.S. grid attacks beyond the theoretical. “The breadth and depth of the attack was unprecedented” in the U.S., said Rich Lordan, senior technical executive for the Electric Power Research Institute. The motivation, he said, “appears to be preparation for an act of war.”
Of course, this wasn’t Billy-Bob and Joe. It was very like “Mike” (Mohammed) and “Sam” (Samir). That’s pretty obvious. Who else would conduct this kind of insider-knowledge, perfect dress rehearsal to take out our power?
Mr. Wellinghoff, then chairman of FERC, said that after he heard about the scope of the attack, he flew to California, bringing with him experts from the U.S. Navy’s Dahlgren Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, which trains Navy SEALs. After walking the site with PG&E officials and FBI agents, Mr. Wellinghoff said, the military experts told him it looked like a professional job. In addition to fingerprint-free shell casings, they pointed out small piles of rocks, which they said could have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots. “They said it was a targeting package just like they would put together for an attack,” Mr. Wellinghoff said. . . .
A spokesman for Homeland Security said it is up to utilities to protect the grid. The department’s role in an emergency is to connect federal agencies and local police and facilitate information sharing, the spokesman said.
More 9/10-esque buck-passing. Fabulous!
Mr. Wellinghoff said . . . “What keeps me awake at night is a physical attack that could take down the grid,” he said. “This is a huge problem.”
It sure is.
Don’t forget: when the 2003 blackout happened, those of us who lived it were just days away from total chaos and destruction. There was already looting and higher crime going on in Detroit. And there were no open gas stations or places to buy food and water in the midst of 90-degree weather. No cell phone and wifi either. If you didn’t have enough supplies or kind relatives (my dad saved me!), you were out of luck.
Want that to happen again? Well, then ignore what happened in San Jose.
They are coming for us and our power. And they are laughing at us and our “nothing to see here; let’s tune back to Miley’s twerking and the Kardashians” attitude.
Tags: Electric Power Research Institute, Famous But Incompetent, FBI, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC, Jihad, Jon Wellinghoff, Mark Johnson, PG&E, PG&E Corp.'s Metcalf transmission substation, PG&E Metcalf, Rich Lordan, SAN JOSE, terrorism, terrorist attack on PG&E