Protecting Texas electrical grid key to preserving national security
by HS Newswire
May 09, 2016
Source Homeland Security News Wire
Protecting America’s most vulnerable asset – our electric power grid – starts with Texas, according to a new study. “As Texas goes, so goes our national security,” says the study’s author. “Outside of California and the Beltway, Texas is arguably the most important state for defense readiness.” Hardening the state’s electric power grid should be top priority.
Protecting America’s most vulnerable asset – our electric power grid – starts with Texas, according to a new study by National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow David Grantham.
“As Texas goes, so goes our national security,” says Grantham. “Outside of California and the Beltway, Texas is arguably the most important state for defense readiness.”
The NCPA note that The large defense presence and self-contained electrical grid leaves the nation largely dependent on Texas for its defense readiness:
- Active-duty defense department personnel stationed in Texas range between 120,000 and 130,000 – just over 11 percent of the military population stationed in the continental United States. Add in civilians, reservists and National Guard members, and the total defense-related population in the state exceeds a quarter of a million people.
- Two of the largest Army bases in the world are located in the Lone Star State. And thanks to Texas’ modern airfields, efficient road systems and extensive rail transportation capabilities, the Pentagon has been able to mobilize and deploy troops with incredible speed and efficiency. In fact, since 2002, over 1 million military personnel have been sent from Texas in support of the United States’ most important international conflicts.
- The large defense presence also plays a major part of the state’s economy, bringing in roughly $150 billion and coming second only to the manufacturing sector.
The last major blackout in the Northeast in 2003 left fifty-five million residents without power and many without water, and cost ten people their lives and $10 billion. The Congressional EMP Commission warns that a High Altitude EMP detonated at our current level of unpreparedness could lead to the deaths of 200 million Americans from starvation, disease and anarchy.
“Texas is the only state with a self-contained electric grid. And an EMP attack that renders the grid inoperable will have devastating consequences for the country’s defense posture,” added Grantham. “Utilities and the Texas government need to come together to protect the grid.”
Grantham explains the key issues in a short video.
— Read more in The Texas Grid and U.S. National Security (NCPA, 2 May 2016)