Short and Intermediate Economic Impacts of a Terrorist-Initiated Loss of Electric Power: Case Study of New Jersey

Greenberg M., N. Mantell, M. Lahr, F. Felder & Zimmerman, R.
Energy Policy,

The economic impacts of potential terrorist attacks on the New Jersey electric power system are examined using a regional econometric model. The magnitude and duration of the effects vary by type of business and income measure. We assume damage is done during in the summer 2005 quarter, a peak period for energy use. The state economy recovers within a year, if we assume that economic activity is restored in the next time period. However, if the attacks prompt an absolute of loss of activity due to firm relocation, closing, and geographical changes in expansion plans, then the economy does not fully recover by the year 2010. Hence, the electrical power system's resiliency to damage is the key to the extent and duration of any economic consequences of a terrorist attack, at least in New Jersey. The policy implication is that the costs and benefits of making the electric power system more resilient to plausible attacks should be weighed and that the restorative capacity of the system should be strengthened. [Copyright 2007 Elsevier]

Wagner Faculty