“On May 1, 2020, an executive order declared a grid security emergency. It recognized that our bulk power system has become dependent on certain countries hostile to the United States, including communist China. In this case, the transformer was seized by the federal government in 2019 and brought to Sandia National Laboratory, where it was inspected.

Many experts consider these extra-high-voltage transformers to be the backbone of our modern grid. If this device that we depend on for the lifeblood of our modern civilization could be manipulated or turned off, then that would be extremely problematic for us. It’s a vector of attack that the Trump administration tried to address through executive order. Unfortunately, on the first day of the current Biden administration, that executive order was suspended. Our nation has since imported about another 100 transformers from China. There are now somewhere around 400 in the U.S. grid…

We imported this massive 500,000-pound electric transformer from China. They decided to send it to one of our national labs when it came into the country. They found hardware in it that had the ability for somebody in China to switch it off.”