Energy Security

Protecting Critical Energy Infrastructure

As one who was quite early in pointing out the vulnerability of the existing electric grid going back to February 1978, my quote below was published in a Hartford Courant article:

”...the problem at hand, which is that centrally generated electricity is a vulnerable genie. In order to be used it must travel on an ugly, complex and inefficient labrinth of wires and substations...Even from a security view (national or otherwise) such a fragile system is suicide.”

The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 has awakened some to the realization that the electric grid is a primary target for those who would do us harm since incapacitating it also incapacitates most  critical infrastructure. Myself and others think  one way to fortify the nation’s grid is by moving toward greater decentralization:

" Distributed generation at many locations around the grid increases power reliability and quality while reducing the strain on the electricity transmission system. It also makes our electricity infrastructure less vulnerable to terrorist attack, both by distributing the generation and diversifying the generation fuels. So if you’re engaged in this effort, it is my view that you are also engaged in our national effort to fight terrorism."-- David Garman, Assist Sec. of Energy, 10/2/01

In reaction to FERC-supported trends to further centralize the system by creating Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) I advocated a plan to decentralize the grid for greater resilience. (See the 2002 Testimony opposing large new transmission at Docket No. 02-04-23  DPUCInvestigation Into Task Force Investigation Of All  Proposals For Gas Or Electric  Transmission Projects.May 29, 2002  and the 2004 Statement of Limited Appearance to the Connecticut Siting Council also on transmission.)

In addition, I have cautioned policymakers against increasing our dependence on foreign supplies of LNG as early as 1991 when I testified that Algeria, then the number one supplier, could be prone to Islamic fundamentalist instabilities.  In 2006 I published an OP-ED piece warning that the Broadwater project planned for Long Island Sound would have Trinidad and Tabago as its primary source yet few were aware it has had its own Jihaddist movement.  Only when a plot to blow up fuel pipelines at JFK airport was exposed, was a Jihaddist connection to Trinidad revealed to the general public. 

In 2010 conducted an Energy Security Workshop for the Connecticut  Energy Advisory Board the senior-most energy policy body in the state that is responsible for the Integrated Resource Plan.