The PJ Tatler

Next Blackout Could Cost You a Trillion Dollars

Okay, so we know the US electrical grid gets attacked all the time. But, what if there was a really massive cyber attack that left America in the dark?

Well, a study out from the British-based Centre for Risk Studies ran the numbers. The damage would be about one trillion dollars. That’s equal to the equivalent of a company like Apple disappearing off the face of the earth in a single day.

That can’t be good.

Considering countries like Iran have talked about going after the US grid and we suspect China already has the means to shut off all out lights, maybe this is a problem worth worrying about?

Fair enough, but figuring out who should protect us and how it should be done is not a nontrivial question.

For starters, the Obama administration has a pretty scary record on manhandling energy policy. According to a recent report from the Taxpayer Protection Alliance, government renewable energy subsidies are creating another disastrous financial bubble like the housing mortgage crisis that shocked the economy in 2007-2008.

Further (given the government’s track record on protecting its own cyber systems) having the White House safeguard the electrical grid sounds as alarming as the prospects for a cyber Pearl Harbor.

Something much more sensible is called for like, for starters, actually understanding “the current cybersecurity status of the U.S. power grid,” how it’s managed, and what would actually make it better.