U.S. National Infrastructure Protection Plan – Energy Sector (Homeland Security, 2005) – Energy is our Achilles Heel

On Henry V, the mirror of a Christian king:

“I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.” – William Shakespeare

It is so very easy to forget how important energy is for the functioning of the modern economic system. Logistics depends on it, medical services depend on it, agricultural production depends on it. Because it is the basis of everything else in an economy, everything else depends on it.

The electricity grid is a critical component of the state’s infrastructure, it is probably the most important security concern in as far as energy matters are concerned

Security matters directly effect the energy industry. According to Homeland Security, power failures in electricity networks can have knock-on effects which are in most cases hard to predict, but authorities have to prepare for any possible outcome.

Homeland Security has not pointed this out in this paper, but without a functioning electricit grid, much of our economy would come to a halt, because it is so dependant on electricity. This also includes the financial infrastructure and banking, which is fully dependant on electricity.

Oil and gas supplies can only be halted for some time, without it we are experiencing grave social consequences that may be irreversible.

It is in a nation’s interest to ensure the supply of oil and gas does not come to a halt, that goods can be delivered where they are needed the most. Because without continuous energy supplies, it is is virtually impossible to run the state’s infrastructure. Energy really is the basis of all other economic activity, so that even a temporary rupture to the energy supply would directly impact on people’s lives.

Taking precautionary steps

The population must be mentally prepared to deal with a breakdown of the national energy infrastructure, which implies limited supply of electricity, gas and oil. Ideally, citizens will take precautionary steps. We assume that when electricity networks break down citizens will have a limited energy supply of food available. One would assume that food rationing will become extremely important. Renewable energy is not named explicitly, but it definitely can play an important role when it comes to managing the crisis effectively. One can imagine that solar panels or wind energy provide much needed electricity and heat.

For more information on this topic, please refer to the following link (Homeland Security, 2005):

U.S. National Infrastructure Protection Plan – Energy Sector

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