Friday, April 11, 2014

FERC Circles The Wagons And Kills The Messenger of Grid Vulnerability Instead Of Fixing The Problem

From The Wall Street Journal, "Federal Energy Regulator to Take Steps to Protect Grid: After Criticism, Commission to Clamp Down on Public Disclosure of Sensitive Material" by Amy Harder:
The federal agency that regulates the U.S. electricity grid is clamping down on public disclosure of potentially sensitive material after criticism of how it handled an analysis of the grid's vulnerability to physical attack, the agency's acting head told Congress on Thursday.

Cheryl LaFleur, acting chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, testified at a hearing that she has "ordered a full internal review of the chain of custody of all documents," in the wake of a preliminary report issued by Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman.
In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that a FERC analysis found that the U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out nine of the most critical electric-transmission substations in different areas of the country.
A closed system, as FERC is becoming or has already, that is unresponsive to the demands of outside forces, cannot adapt and evolve to exist in a constantly changing world. Censoring information never fixes a problem. Without public transparency, market forces and accountability, problems in our electrical grid will not go away.

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