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North Carolina lawmaker proposes 24/7 power grid security

(NewsNation) — As federal regulators look for ways to secure our country’s power substations from physical attacks, legislators in North Carolina are taking matters into their own hands.

“This is a nationwide issue. It’s not going away,” said State Rep. Ben Moss, R-N.C. “And as you see in North Carolina, it is becoming more and more frequent.”

NewsNation obtained a draft bill proposed by Moss — whose district includes Moore County.

In early December, vandals shot two Duke Energy substations, causing a widespread blackout that left more than 40,000 customers in the dark, some for days.

Just last week, someone hit another substation with gunfire, this time in Randolph County, North Carolina.

“Just picture yourself for days without energy. You don’t have food, you can’t go buy gas, you can’t live your normal life,” Moss said.

His bill would require around-the-clock security at substations in the state.

North Carolina isn’t the only state to deal with attacks on the power grid. In recent months, power facilities in Oregon, Florida and Washington have also become targets.

In Morton, Washington, police said someone with a pickup truck used a crowbar and chain to cause a blackout in parts of the county that lasted for several hours.

Moss said legislators need to come up with something that’s feasible and cost-effective to make sure the grid is safe.

“As we wait for the federal government to maybe hand down some different suggestions or regulations, I think North Carolina needs to get ready to lead the front and say, Hey, we want to make sure our grid is secure,” Moss said.

In a statement, the FBI told NewsNation “at this time, we have not determined that a single individual or group is responsible or that incidents in different cities are linked. The FBI remains vigilant and works closely with our law enforcement partners on a daily basis to detect, disrupt and dismantle any threats that may emerge.”