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Got Power? Maine Doesn’t Wait for Washington to Respond-Should You? [Videos]

Mainers are used to power outages that are winter storm related, but would you be prepared for a more extended outage? Photo, Getty Images

As a great statement of pride, it’s often been said, “As Maine goes, so goes the Nation.”

Many people throughout the country, right now, are sincerely hoping Maine continues its push to do the right thing.

These people are holding Maine’s efforts up to others, as a positive model of assuming responsibility and being proactive, to protect the well being of its citizens in the face of a very real and grave threat.  The threat lies in the immense vulnerability of our electric power grid.

As this nation demands power for life and sustainability, I’ve been reporting on this issue in my series, Got Power?

In the past, our power infrastructure has been vulnerable to storms.

Not-so-sinister tree branches, in some instances combined with lack of industry situational awareness, have been responsible for massive disruptions.

So, knowing this, let’s throw in a possibly more sinister element, and one completely natural event; terrorism in the form of a cyber attack on the grid, or solar flare-triggered EMP.

State Representative Andrea Boland of Sanford has been right on top of the issue, bringing national experts to Maine to testify before a legislative committee, resulting in an emergency law, and subsequent study by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, which is now underway

Representative Boland is concerned the utility industry has been left to police itself, and Congress continues to ignore dire warnings, and stalls on legislation that would demand accountability.

Representative Boland, and other national experts seen in the video below, are concerned that an up-coming electricity reliability test being conducted this month called GridEx II will still not properly address the threat adequately.

Experts are concerned that numerous national studies have already been conducted, yet the utility industry is spending time and money on a drill, using the catastrophic scenario, when it could be investing that money and time actually hardening the system now against the threat.

Maine businesses are also starting to realize that protecting their electric infrastructure is critical to the survival of their business too.

Representative Boland says the MidCoast Regional Redevelopment Authority is working with an Arizona company on installing its own mitigation technology for the business redevelopment of the former Brunswick Naval Air Base.

Representative Boland says Mainer’s have a huge role to play in this issue by preparing their own families and businesses to withstand an extended power outage, but also by following the PUC study and talking to local and state representatives about the serious nature of the threat and the need for mitigation efforts. The PUC report is due back to the legislature in January.

Boland says Mainer’s need to keep pressure on congressional representatives to support and push forward H.R. 2417 the SHIELD Act. It stands for Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity From Lethal Damage Act.

You can find out more here.

 

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