A massive exercise is planned for November that aims to test the resiliency of the U.S. power grid to withstand major damage caused by a natural disaster or deliberate attack, the New York Times reported.
Thousands of people are preparing for the drill, including U.S, Mexican and Canadian government officials. They are joining business leaders, U.S. National Guard officers, counterterrorism specialists and utility personnel to tee up the exercise, which will imitate kinetic strikes and computer assaults that could shut down large swaths of the electrical network.
In excess of 150 entities have agreed to take part in the simulated event, called “GridEx 2.”
Fears about the possible detonation of a nuclear warhead in the skies above the United States, for the purposes of creating an electromagnetic pulse aimed at sizzling electronics on the ground, have led a number of public figures to call for significant steps to strengthen the power grid. Ex-CIA head R. James Woolsey is planning a campaign to convince state governments to pass laws requiring utilities to harden their electronics against potential EMP attacks.
A key objective of GridEx 2 is to learn how governments would handle a loss of electrical power that is large enough to drastically affect the delivery of common and essential goods and services.
Government and utility companies have discussed in recent years how challenging it can be to protect the power grid, which is involved in nearly all aspects of modern life. It is managed in large part by a patchwork of regional and city authorities and privately owned firms.
Some utility-sector officials blame the government for not sharing intelligence about threats to the power grid. In response, government leaders have recommended that some utility heads apply for security clearances that would allow them access to classified information.
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The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."
The chairman of the DCCC said Debbie Wasserman Schultz won't be getting financial help from the organization this year, even as she faces a well-funded primary challenger. "Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) said the committee’s resources will be spent helping Democrats in tough races rather than those in seats that are strongholds for the party." Executive Director Kelly Ward added, “We never spend money in safe seats."
Debbie Wasserman Schultz has given up her last remaining duty at this week's convention. Now, she's told her hometown newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, that she will not gavel in the convention today. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will do the honors instead. "I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention," Wasserman Schultz said.
Perhaps this talk of unity has been overstated. Addressing a room full of his supporters today, Bernie Sanders heard "sustained boos" when he said he said it was essential that we elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
The FBI this morning issued a statement saying it is "investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC," adding that "a compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously." Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign is suggesting that the hack "was committed by Russia to benefit Donald Trump."