Last week's Sixth National 25 by '25 Renewable Energy Summit in Omaha, Nebraska closed out with a warning from former CIA Director Jim Woolsey that America's power grid is extremely vulnerable to terrorist attack. Woolsey said the location of transformers critical to wide sections of the nation's grid system are near major highways, making them easy targets, while their backup transformers are generally located right next to the main facility, unprotected from sabotage.
Woolsey believes relatively minor changes to the distribution grid, focusing on small to medium facilities that add alternative energy sources such as wind and natural gas to their power mix, would reduce the grid's vulnerability and prevent a total catastrophe.
Woolsey also weighed in on the nation's oil addiction. He said the most immediate among near-term fixes is a move to biofuels as quickly as possible. He cited what he said was the carcinogenic threat from chemicals added to gasoline to increase octane levels. And he dismissed those who criticize biofuel feedstock production by citing unproven environmental impacts from indirect land use change.