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Threats to utility plants / threat to Berkshire


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US test of EMP in 1962.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime

 

Starfish Prime caused an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which was far larger than expected, so much larger that it drove much of the instrumentation off scale, causing great difficulty in getting accurate measurements. The Starfish Prime electromagnetic pulse also made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometres (898 mi) away from the detonation point, knocking out about 300 streetlights,[6] setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone company microwave link.[7] The EMP damage to the microwave link shut down telephone calls from Kauai to the other Hawaiian islands

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... My question is: Is Berkshire legally separated in any way from its utilities? Could a massive power outage that brings a region to its knees for weeks / months/ years bring down Berkshire?...

 

The holding company does not guarantee the debt of BHE. Depending of how extreme such an adverse scenario would be, I can't imagine BHE would not get the financial support needed from the holding company to ride it out. In a severly adverse scenario it would likely be a state and federal matter, too.

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The utilities are also separate entities. So theoretically if one region had something catastrophic happen (and I think a regulatory catastrophe is more likely than a physical catastrophe) they could always jettison one of them. IE if Nevada decides that utilities can't recover their capital or something, (and BHE loses the resulting lawsuits...) they would still have Iowa, or vice-versa.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The utilities are also separate entities. So theoretically if one region had something catastrophic happen (and I think a regulatory catastrophe is more likely than a physical catastrophe) they could always jettison one of them. IE if Nevada decides that utilities can't recover their capital or something, (and BHE loses the resulting lawsuits...) they would still have Iowa, or vice-versa.

 

I also think they utilities can at least theoretically recover the cost of a natural disaster from their customers via increased rates.

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