Attacks on power substations in Washington state knocked out electricity to about 14,000 customers over the holidays in the latest rash of such incidents. Politico reports 2022 had the highest number of attacks on the nation's power grid in a decade, with more than 100 physical and cyber strikes through August. Some attacks have been linked to extremists trying to spread chaos. Electric utilities, law enforcement and lawmakers are scrambling to find ways to better protect the nation’s vital power supply.
Class discussion: Has your family experienced power outages? How long did the blackouts last? What causes most power outages? How could the loss of electricity threaten lives? Could an extended and widespread blackout lead to a breakdown of law and order? If someone is caught attacking the power grid, should they be treated as a vandal or a terrorist, facing severe penalties? Could a foreign cyberattack on our power system trigger a war? Should we raise electric rates or taxes to harden the security of the grid?