Several states are increasing security around Electric Grids following recent attacks that knocked out power for thousands of residents. North Carolina Republican state Rep. Ben Moss, the state that suffered the worst attack, is proposing legislation that would strengthen security at every grid in the state.
According to AP, which obtained a draft version of the legislation, the bill would require utilities to maintain 24-hour security at substations, with varying security improvements at different grid sites based on the level of security they already have.
Reports on Fox Business suggest that Moss considers his legislation as “a conversation opener” that will help lawmakers, security experts, and utilities identify cost-effective defenses that will not result in higher prices for power consumers.
Moore County, North Carolina, suffered the most significant impact of the attacks, with over 45,000 residents left without power following a December attack. The attack began in November when suspects broke into a substation in the county and vandalized equipment. The attack left schools and other businesses closed.
Mass power outage in North Carolina being investigated as 'criminal occurrence' https://t.co/JoFOXIByOe
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) December 4, 2022
Moss lamented the attack, stating that it turned his district into “a ghost town.”
“When the power goes out, you don’t have heat, don’t have food, can’t get fuel or some medications, the people are unsafe,” Moss said.
— Steve Lookner (@lookner) December 4, 2022
South Carolina, who suffered at least 12 crippling attacks in 2022, also introduced a bill in the state senate that would increase the penalties for damaging electrical grids. According to AP, the bill would raise the current 10-year maximum sentence for causing over $25,000 worth of damage to up to 20 years.
Since the nationwide attacks began, authorities have struggled to make arrests or uncover the general motives for the attacks. However, authorities arrested two men in Washington after they vandalized four different substations on Dec. 25, 2022, leaving 15,000 residents in the Puget Sound area without power.
While the broader motives for other attacks remain unknown, prosecutors said the men’s motive for destroying the grid was to take advantage of the power failure to rob a business in the area. The FBI also believes that some of the vandals are far-left global warming agitators.