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The perception of collapsing grid reliability kills hegemony and causes terrorism

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The perception of collapsing grid reliability kills hegemony and causes terrorism

Lewis, 8 - senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (Marlo, Statement before the House Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, 7/25, http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2008_hr/062508lewis.pdf)
In the meantime, U.S. electricity demand is growing, and coal is the fuel of choice in many markets. The EIA forecasts that between 2007 and 2030, coal will provide 67 percent of all new electric generation in the United States, and new coal generation will constitute 15 percent of all U.S. electric power in 2030.10 Moratoria that effectively ban new coal-based power could create a severe supply-demand imbalance. This would not only inflate electricity and natural gas costs (demand for coal would be diverted to natural gas as an electricity fuel), it would also jeopardize electric supply reliability. Indeed, some parts of the country may experience chronic energy crises characterized by repeated power failures and blackouts.

From a national security standpoint, this poses two main risks. One is that America will increasingly resemble a Third World country where nothing works very well. We will lose our international prestige and ability to lead by example. The other risk is that terrorists will view America’s over-stretched, failure-prone electricity grid as a tempting target. They may calculate: If America’s electric supply system is tottering on the edge, why not give it a few helpful shoves?

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