It was on the news last week that officials are concerned about the power grid. Remember that storm a few weeks back that wiped out power to a good chuck of the Mid Atlantic? Remember how long it took to get it turned back on?
That was just a storm. If a terrorist organization attacks the power grid, we are apparently fucked. We rely too much on computers. Everything needs electricity. We use radar to see what's coming from where. That uses electricity. Landline phones don't need electricity, but who uses those anymore... Communications and defenses are now all dependent upon digital technology because it's cheaper, faster, and more efficient. It's also very vulnerable. I've known this since I was a child, but what do I know? When the local news ran the story my reaction was... no shit morons...
Hell forget a terrorist attack, at the rate our population is growing, and additions (like new power plants) to the grid aren't, it'll only be a generation, maybe two, before we overload it ourselves. Hell even now you've got cities that, almost, every summer have rolling blackouts because they can't handle the drain on the grid when all the AC's kick on.
This is a problem, mostly, with industry and the EPA butting heads. Plenty of places try to get the permits to build new plants, hell they need the energy and
the jobs but are, often, blocked by the EPA. I am all for protecting our environment and making sure that industries use the cleanest technologies available to them, but I am not in favor of being so protective of a damned mouse that I'm willing to let people die (and when you have rolling blackouts in places like LA, in august, people DO die, mostly older folks, of things like heat stroke) instead. Not saying the EPA should be put on the chopping block, they serve a vital purpose, but I do think they need to be less stringent at times and look at the long term effects on people
as well as the environment.