How Righteous Anger Inspires Action, and Hope, to Secure the Grid

Last week, China’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of its Communist Party, included a parade of frightening military armaments. The U.S. is has no defenses for some of the new weapons. The Communist government proudly showcased an inventory of ninety DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, each containing ten nuclear warheads – enough to destroy America’s strategic military targets almost two-times over.

However, the Chinese do not need hundreds of nuclear weapons to destroy America.  It only takes one weapon, detonated at high altitude above the United States in an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack, to shut down our nation’s most critical infrastructure, the electric grid.

As a member of the Secure the Grid Coalition, I routinely give briefings about the threat from EMP, and all the forces arrayed against those who take it seriously, which engenders a righteous anger among those who truly care for our Republic.

I recently had the opportunity to brief the wonderful women associated with Eagle Forum at their “Eagle Council XLVII” event in Washington D.C. on the many threats to the electric grid. I shared an important quote with the audience:

“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.”

-Saint Augustine

One of the most troubling aspects of our struggle to secure the grid is the extent to which the owners and operators of electric grid infrastructure are able to influence the security regulations that govern that industry and that one of the industry’s most effective lobbying organizations hosts Chinese state-owned corporations beholden to that country’s Communist government.  Worse yet, the self-regulated electric power industry can violate important security requirements without fear of public scrutiny, leading to a corporate culture that is far too lax on security.

Think about it.  What if it was your electric utility company that violated cyber security and physical security standards and put your family at risk of losing electricity.  Wouldn’t you want to know?  Unfortunately, under the current system, you’re not allowed to know the identities of the nearly 1500 security violators, as they have been covered up for nearly a decade!

This cover up was exposed by one of the Secure the Grid Coalition’s most dedicated volunteers – a 9/11 survivor and retired US Army Command Sergeant Major:  Michael Mabee.  Mr. Mabee’s research and advocacy has been a key component in pressuring the government to become more transparent in this area.

Miraculously, due to this pressure, the federal regulator for the electric power industry has provided an initial proposal to move toward more transparency, but one that leaves much to be desired.   Fortunately, they have invited comments from the public on this important topic and this is where WE CAN ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

In my presentation to the wonderful ladies of Eagle Forum, I laid out the steps we can all take to help in this fight for grid security and transparency.  You can watch that presentation here:

As I explained to Eagle Forum and to audiences across this country, if citizens take their righteous anger and pair it courage to get into this fight and to advocate for greater security for our electric grid, we can provide hope for our future and that of our children.  It is my hope that YOU will choose to join our Secure the Grid Coalition to do just that!

Learn more about how, at the “Take Action” page of the Secure the Grid Coalition website!

About Tommy Waller

Tommy Waller serves as Vice President, Special Projects at the Center for Security Policy.  Tommy manages the Secure the Grid Coalition - a group of policymakers, defense professionals, and activists working diligently to secure America's most critical infrastructure - the U.S. Electric Grid.  Prior to joining the Center, Tommy served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an Infantry and Recon Officer with combat service overseas in numerous theaters.  His full bio can be found here.