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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Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 49%-44% in a new CNN/ORC poll out Monday afternoon. But it's Gary Johnson's performance, or lack thereof, that's the real story. Johnson, who had cleared 10% in some surveys earlier this fall, as he made a bid to qualify for the debates, is down to 3% support. He must hit 5% nationwide for the Libertarian Party to qualify for some federal matching funds in future elections.
While the organization praised him for being "perhaps the most pro-LGBT presidential nominee in the history of the Republican Party," the Log Cabin Republicans refused to endorse Donald Trump for president. The organization, which is the largest gay organization in the United States, said that Trump failed to earn its endorsement because he surrounded himself with anti-LGBTQ people "and committed himself to supporting legislation such as the so-called 'First Amendment Defense Act' that Log Cabin Republicans opposes."
Energy Secretary Ernesto Moniz is warning Congress "that Congress and businesses need to act with more urgency to work out a medley of challenges in promoting nuclear power." A number of nuclear plants are currently on track to close around 2030, unless their licenses are extended from 60 years to 80 years, something that could jeopardize the success of the Clean Power Plan. Moniz called on Congress to pass legislation creating interim storage facilities for used nuclear power.
Donald Trump has said he received a $17 million insurance payment in 2005 following Hurricane Wilma, which he claimed did severe damage to his private club in Florida. However, an Associated Press investigation could not find any evidence of the large-scale damage that Trump has mentioned. Additionally, Trump claimed that he transferred some of the $17 million to his personal account thanks to a "very good insurance policy."