H.R. 5026 Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act or the ‘‘GRID Act” as is it known, is setting the table to allow the current Administration to nationalize the grid. There, I said it!
This piece of legislation passed the House Energy & Commerce Committee unanimously 47-0. Apparently no sane person on the committee read this document as it allows the President to declare an “emergency” – (Page 6, Lines 10-18) Whenever the President issues and provides to the Commission (either directly or through the Secretary) a written directive or determination identifying an imminent grid security threat, the Commission may, with or without notice, hearing, or report, issue such orders for emergency measures as are necessary in its judgment to protect the reliability of the bulk-power system or of defense critical electric infrastructure against such threat. That applies to the entire grid, an RRO or even a single facility – (Page 7, Lines 9 – 15) An order for emergency measures under this subsection may apply to —
(A) the Electric Reliability Organization;
(B) a regional entity; or
(C) any owner, user, or operator of the bulk-power system or of defense critical electric infrastructure within the United States.
The GRID Act requires a facility to protect against Electromagnetic Weapons (non-nuclear), Geomagnetic Storms, a direct attack on a facility or its systems using an electromagnetic weapon and/or a geomagnetic storm causing adverse effects on the reliability of the Bulk Electric System.
Um, if you plan on monitoring the sun for storm activity and have a “Magic 8-Ball”, you might be able to figure out how to detect and protect against these issues. If you don’t happen to possess these monitoring abilities, then just plan on getting fined or having an “emergency” declared against you.
Oh, and just in case you weren’t aware, if an emergency is declared against your facility, FERC will step in and take control of your facility(ies) until the President has determined that the emergency is over.
There is one or two shining lights in all of this. That light is your ability as a registered entity to recover your expenses in becoming compliant either through rate increases or, if that’s not possible, Congress will put in place a “mechanism” (new taxes) so that you can recover your costs. The other light, I think this light is from an on-coming locomotive, is one that allows Congress to force you to turn over all of your documentation, regardless of its sensitivity, for their full review. Mmmmm… makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to think that Congress will now be able to review and, at their whim, make all of our power producers’ documents a matter of public record.