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FERC Blasts WSJ for|Reporting Blackout Risk

(CN) - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission blasted The Wall Street Journal for publishing the results of a study showing that a relatively small-scale attack could wipe out power across the United States.

The article cites "a previously unreported study" by the FERC, which reportedly found that the entire nation could go dark if saboteurs took out just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations in a coordinated attack.

Cheryl LaFleur, acting chairwoman of the FERC, said the March 12 article "crosses the line from transparency to irresponsibility."

"Today's publication by The Wall Street Journal of sensitive information about the grid undermines the careful work done by professionals who dedicate their careers to providing the American people with a reliable and secure grid," she said in a statement issued Wednesday. "The Wall Street Journal has appropriately declined to identify by name particularly critical substations throughout the country. Nonetheless, the publication of other sensitive information is highly irresponsible. While there may be value in a general discussion of the steps we take to keep the grid safe, the publication of sensitive material about the grid crosses the line from transparency to irresponsibility, and gives those who would do us harm a roadmap to achieve malicious designs. The American people deserve better."

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