I am not sure of your assessment of which would be easier t take out or have longer term disastrous effects.
I was concerned to see two articles in a week which spoke of the transformer problem.
Anyone who is out and about or lives in proximity to those things should keep an eye out for people who appear to be casing them, IMHO.
In the meantime, we would do well to not consider our grid superior to everyone else and think it could never fail us. Ask our North-Eastern brethren if they would have some more options if given a Sandy do-over, for instance.
The distribution end is not our most vulnerable aspect. That if damaged wouldn’t take long to repair. Maybe weeks at most. Because of events in the past and now the effect of the EPA’s regulations we could see an outage lasting from months to possibly close to a year based on procurement lead times of equipment that is easily accessible by terrorists.
The casualties could run to hundred of thousands or possibly millions in the Northeast depending on time of year. Over the past twenty years there have been factors which have now combined to create the potential for a perfect storm of electrical supply loss.
It’s a forest for the trees situation. The EPA’s action may have been the trigger that gives a group of terrorists the opportunity they want short of a nuclear weapon that would make 9/11 look like a typical weekend death toll in Chicago.
Fortunately the terrorist attacks in this country have been somewhat symbolic. In a way they have been more of an embarrassment to the the government than seriously disruptive. The potential exists for a real game changer.
I’m hoping the terrorists remain as clueless as our government. If that’s the case, we’ll all live out normal lives. If not, it’s going to be an end of the world scenarios for many.