Carolina

Carolina lawmakers are working to protect substations

‘A matter of life or death’: Carolina lawmakers work to protect substations after a massive power outage in Moore County

North and South Carolina lawmakers are working to ensure substations are protected.


Months after a shooting at a substation cut power to more than 34,000 people, lawmakers in North and South Carolina are working to ensure electrical substations are protected. On December 3, 2022, someone shot and damaged two substations in Moore County, North Carolina. leaving the country folk in the dark and cold for days. “Businesses have been shut down, schools have been shut down,” said NC Representative Ben Moss. “It just looked like a ghost town.” That’s why Moss, representing Richmond and Moore counties, is drafting a bill that would require energy companies to provide 24-hour security at all substations. Since then, other power plants in North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada and Washington have been shelled or destroyed. Dominion Power said in an SC Senate subcommittee meeting that the state had 12 of those incidents in the last year alone. “We live in a time where you can do a lot with cameras, lighting, sound recognition and things like that. But some places need more protection than others, we found,” Moss said. In South Carolina, senators are working to pass two bills, one increasing the penalty if a gun is used and another introducing a penalty scale for attackers based on the amount of damage they cause and whether someone is injured or dies from a power failure. “A power outage for my mother, for example, isn’t an inconvenience; it’s a life and death situation,” said Shawn Haney, a resident of Upstate South Carolina. “She depends on oxygen 24 hours a day, which comes from a plug-in oxygen concentrator.” Haney’s mother lives in South Carolina, a good drive from any hospital. She will never be forgotten if the power went out in the middle of the night. Her mother woke up with low oxygen levels and no power source nearby. “I think it’s a matter of safety and security and it’s a matter of life or death,” she said. Moss’ bill is in final stages and could be unveiled any day now. In the meantime, he said, he’s meeting with energy experts, energy companies and lawmakers on both sides of the aisles. “Democrat, Republican, it doesn’t matter. When the energy runs out, everyone loses it.”

Months after a shooting at a substation cut power to more than 34,000 people, lawmakers in North and South Carolina are working to ensure electrical substations are protected.

On December 3, 2022, someone shot and damaged two substations in Moore County, North Carolina, leaving country residents in the dark and cold for days.

“Businesses have been shut down, schools have been shut down,” said NC Representative Ben Moss. “It just looked like a ghost town.”

That’s why Moss, representing Richmond and Moore counties, is drafting a bill that would require energy companies to provide 24-hour security at all substations. Since then, other power plants in North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada and Washington have been shelled or destroyed.

Dominion Power said in an SC Senate subcommittee meeting that the state had 12 of those incidents in the last year alone.

“We live in a time where you can do a lot with cameras, lighting, sound detection and things like that. But some places need more protection than others, we found,” Moss said.

In South Carolina, state senators are working on passing two laws, one increasing the penalty for using a gun and the other establishing a penalty scale for attackers based on the amount of damage they cause and whether someone is injured or dies from a power failure.

“A power outage for my mother, for example, isn’t an inconvenience; it’s a life and death situation,” said Shawn Haney, a resident of Upstate South Carolina. “She relies on 24/7 oxygen, which comes from a plug-in oxygen concentrator.”

Haney’s mother lives in South Carolina, a good drive from any hospital. She will never be forgotten if the power went out in the middle of the night. Her mother woke up with low oxygen levels and no power source nearby.

“I think it’s a safety issue, and a safety issue, and it’s a matter of life or death,” she said.

Moss’ bill is in the final stages of drafting and could be introduced any day now. In the meantime, he said, he’s meeting with energy experts, energy companies and lawmakers on both sides of the aisles.

“I think the beauty of this bill is that it’s not a party issue,” Moss said. “Democrat, Republican, it doesn’t matter. When the power runs out, everyone loses it.”

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