Monday, July 21, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Grid danger

By
From page A4 | February 14, 2014 |

For those who didn’t catch the well-researched article in the Feb. 5 Wall Street Journal, or its summary on Fox News, the electrical power grid may be under direct threat, and not just from cyber attacks.

What the WSJ found from public filings that recently became available is that on April 16, 2013, someone removed a very heavy lid to an underground vault at 1 a.m. near Highway 101 near San Jose and cut communication cables.

Then about at 1:31 a.m., what the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department thinks was a signal from a flashlight was recorded on a surveillance camera pointed across the chain link fence surrounding the Metcalf Substation that serves Silicon Valley. That is followed by the muzzle flash from a rifle shooting at the oil-filled cooling systems of the transformers, knocking out 17 of them as they burned out. Then the flashlight signaled to stop at about 1:50 a.m. When officers arrived a minute later no one was in sight and all that remained were more than 100 shell casings ejected by a possible AK-47. None had fingerprints.

PG&E isn’t talking, but a retired PG&E VP for transmission did say at a security conference that it was not random vandalism, but “was well thought out, well planned and they targeted certain components.”

The then chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission brought with him experts from the training facility for Navy SEALs, who told him it was a professional job, including little piles of rocks that could have been left by an advance scout to point the way to the best shots.

A 2009 Energy Department report said damage to extra-high-voltage transformers could result in “prolonged outages, as procurement cycles for these components range from months to years.”

In this county both the El Dorado Irrigation District and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District have power-generating and transmission facilities. What is needed is surveillance systems. Consolidated Edison in New York has 1,200 security cameras that it has changed the angles on to avoid blind spots, following the Metcalf attack. EID and SMUD need to be sure their key facilities have high-quality cameras pointed not only at their facilities but also in the direction from which anyone might approach a key facility.

This is the sort of threat potential that EID only discusses behind closed doors, as permitted by the Brown Act. We trust — we hope — these two agencies take appropriate action to increase security in light of the attack on the Metcalf Power Station. This sort of action might also include backup replacement equipment stored at another location.

 

 

Comments

comments

Mountain Democrat

.

News

IRS unveils Taxpayer Bill of Rights

By News Release | From Page: B1

 
Highway 50 collision fatal

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

Stay connected through sheriff

By El Dorado County Sheriff's Office | From Page: B1

 
EDH community unites to patch up historic barn

By Mike Roberts | From Page: A1 | Gallery

P’ville hires Camino superintendent

By News Release | From Page: B1

 
Bird tests positive for West Nile

By Ross Branch | From Page: A1

Heard over the back fence: Public swim times announced

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
County gets partial refund on promotional event

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A3

 
Jeepers expo Wednesday in Georgetown

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A3

Help SWR with squirrel babies

By Sierra Wildlife Rescue | From Page: A9

 
.

Opinion

The rural life: Save the day: Neuter and spay

By Jennifer Forsberg Meyer | From Page: A4

 
Different place, different priorities

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

California rambling: Giving cities a pass

By John Poimiroo | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
.

Letters

Ready for Hillary?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Fukushima

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Diamond Springs Firefighters Union is corrupt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
100+ years and thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

A thank you note

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Prada belongs in Berkeley

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

.

Sports

Schedule: July 21-26

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Becker slips by in wild KWS finish

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A6

Sports Scene: July 20, 2014

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 20, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Season over for Post 119

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Valley View Sports Park

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Under the Scoreboard: July 20, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Sophia Barden wins strut title

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

How to safely help a horse

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Railroad Museum offers a fun ‘History Happy Hour’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B4

 
As we were: Money for home repairs

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Volunteer kitchen help needed in EDH

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: B10

 
Marshall Medical Center to host day of fitness and fun

By Marshall Medical | From Page: B10

 
Kids parade for free admission to the fair

By Amador County Fair | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

Crime Log: July 6-8

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Betty Ellene Hock

By Contributor | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
Douglas J. Beam

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Arthur J. Funston

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Jerry Grant Young Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Kathryn Noreen Nolan

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Monday, July 21, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Sukodu

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8