Dan Liljenquist: Our national power grid lacks physical security

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  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    You guys are so confused! It is not the coal industry getting the subsidies but the solar, wind and geothermal industries. They need subsidies because they are unaffordable and do not work well enough to provide constant power. This article concerns the vulnerability of our infrastructure and in our free society there is really nothing we can do about it, it just exists.

  • joeandrade Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 9:44 p.m.

    The national electrical grid is a 19th century Rube Goldberg which needs to be replaced.

    Irony Guy's comment is right on - we need to move to a distributed power generation system, based largely on local renewable energy inputs and very local, neighborhood grids.

    The best examples of the vulnerability of the grid is severe weather events, which have become very common due mainly to climate change, itself due to CO2 and methane emissions.

    If Mr. Liljenquist is so concerned about the grid, he needs to advocate the elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels and build in the externality costs (a carbon fee or tax) which would result in the private sector making the existing grid and existing fossil fuel-based electrical generation non-competitive and eventually obsolete.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    If you think this is scary, check out our national infrastructure's vulnerability to collapse due to lack of funding for proper maintenance.

    We want the bridges, sewers, water systems, and all the other things that keep us going -- but we don't want to fund them.

    If the Tea Party has their way, we'll be living in caves soon.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    And yet ---

    These very same people who whip up fears about
    Physical Security,
    Cyber Security,
    National Security,

    don't give a rip, and even want to dismantle,
    SOCIAL Security...

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    This is something I've worried about as I drive across the nation. What's going to happen when we finally decide we need to protect everything? Are we going to overreact once a few people realise that every insulator or transformer on every pole or tower in the nation is one good rile shot away from failure? Or are we going to keep our wits about us and take wise precautions and carry on, knowing we're made of sterner stuff than the idiots that would try to frighten us?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 8:58 a.m.


    Dan's entire article highlights a problem,
    yet provide NO suggestions of answers.

    Most ironic,
    coming from a LESS Government,
    LESS Spending,
    BIG Business will provide safest, cheapest and best and security for all of us,

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 13, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    We need to evolve away from a national power grid. Most of our electricity needs could be provided at point of use through solar generation; and heating and cooling through geothermal generation. It would also save us from pollution.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Feb. 13, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    If you think this is scary, check out our national infrastructure's vulnerability to cyber attacks.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 6:24 a.m.

    Bring the troops home. America needs to be protected from within. We don't need to keep spending outrageous amounts of money to fight a new nutcakes in a cave.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 6:21 a.m.

    No question that terrorism is a very real threat when it comes to America's power infrastructure -- whether it is igniting oil-carrying rail cars or overturning nuclear waste trains to attacks on power plants, substations, and lines.

    One of the solutions is to develop more "distributed" renewable energy -- smaller, more localized power generation within cities that don't pose significant risks. The Spanish Fork Wind Project is a model example of ultra-low risk, close-to-load-center power generation. Rooftop solar on homes and warehouses offer the same low-risk security. If a turbine or solar panel is "attacked," the nearby risks to humans is minimal, and the overall system is backed-up by other small, power-generating systems nearby.

    An attack on say the proposed nuclear plant or railcar transporting nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain through Salt Lake City and Las Vegas (where the existing railroad tracks are) would create public panic and hurt tourism and the economy for years. Think how the Gulf oil spill continues to hamper tourism and fishing along the Louisiana and Florida coast lines.