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Heading Toward An EMP Catastrophe

Call your representatives, and insist they take action to protect the electrical grid.

by AMBASSADOR R. JAMES WOOLSEY, DR. PETER VINCENT PRY

….Consequently, policymakers in the States who are alarmed by the lack of progress in Washington on EMP preparedness, find themselves seriously disadvantaged in efforts to protect their State electric grids by the utilities and their well-funded lobbyists who falsely claim Washington and the utilities are making great progress partnering on the EMP problem.  So far in 2015, State initiatives to protect their electric grids have been defeated by industry lobbyists in Maine, Colorado, and Texas.

Texas State Senator Bob Hall, a former USAF Colonel and himself an EMP expert, characterizes as “equivalent to treason” the behavior of the electric utilities and their lobbyists:

As a Texas State Senator who tried in the 2015 legislative session to get a bill passed to harden the Texas grid against an EMP attack or nature’s GMD, I learned first hand the strong control the electric power company lobby has on elected officials. We did manage to get a weak bill passed in the Senate but the power companies had it killed in the House.  A very deceitful document which was carefully designed to mislead legislators was provided by the power company lobbyist to legislators at a critical moment in the process.  The document was not just misleading, it actually contained false statements.  The EMP/GMD threat is real and it is not “if” but WHEN it will happen.  The responsibility for the catastrophic destruction and wide spread death of Americans which will occur will be on the hands of the executives of the power companies because they know what needs to be done and are refusing to do it.  In my opinion power company executives, by refusing to work with the legislature to protect the electrical grid infrastructure are committing an egregious act that is equivalent to treason.  I know and understand what I am saying.  As a young US Air Force Captain, with a degree in electrical engineering from The Citadel, I was the project officer who lead the Air Force/contractor team which designed, developed and installed the modification to “harden” the Minuteman Strategic missile to protect it from an EMP attack.  The American people must demand that the power company executives that are hiding the truth stop deceiving the people and immediately begin protecting our electrical grid so that life as we know it today will not end when the terrorist EMP attack comes.

Ironically, while electric power lobbyists are fighting against EMP protection in Washington, Texas, Maine, Colorado and elsewhere, the Iranian news agency MEHR recently reported that Iran is violating international sanctions and going full bore to protect itself from a nuclear EMP attack:

Iranian researchers…have built an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) filter that protects country’s vital organizations against cyber attack.  Director of Kosar Information and Communication Technology Institute Saeid Rahimi told MNA correspondent that the EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) filter is one of the country’s boycotted products and until now procuring it required considerable costs and various strategies.  “But recently Kosar ICT…has managed to domestically manufacture the EMP filter for the very first time in this country,” said Rahimi.  Noting that the domestic EMP filter has been approved by security authorities, Rahimi added “the EMP filter protects sensitive devices and organizations against electromagnetic pulse and electromagnetic terrorism.”  He also said the domestic EMP filter has been implemented in a number of vital centers in Iran.  (MEHR News Agency, “Iran Builds EMP Filter For 1st Time” June 13, 2015) 

What Is To Be Done?

Congress should address the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA), which requires the Department of Homeland Security to adopt a new National Planning Scenario focused on EMP; to develop plans to protect the critical infrastructures; and for emergency managers and first responders to plan and train to protect and recover the nation from an EMP catastrophe.  CIPA will enable DHS to draw upon the deep expertise within the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community to help protect the critical infrastructures from EMP.  Do not let the electric power lobby defeat CIPA or weaken its provisions, as they are presently trying to do. 

Reestablish the Congressional EMP Commission.  The greatest progress was being made when the EMP Commission existed to advance EMP preparedness.  Progress stopped when the EMP Commission terminated in 2008.  Currently, the struggle to advance national EMP preparedness is being carried on by a handful of patriotic individuals and Non-Government Organizations who have no official standing and extremely limited resources.  Bring back the EMP Commission with its deep expertise to advise Congress, government at all levels, and the private sector on how best to protect the nation, and to serve as a watchdog and leader for national EMP preparedness. 

Address the SHIELD Act or the GRID Act to establish adequate regulatory authority within the U.S. Government to achieve timely protection of the electric grid–and watch U.S. FERC like a hawk to make sure that regulatory authority is exercised. 

Include in the National Defense Authorization Act the simple two-sentence provision below, that could rapidly reverse the trend of America’s increasing vulnerability to EMP, by directing the Secretary of Defense to help State governments and the electric utilities protect themselves from an EMP catastrophe: 

Energy Security For Military Bases And Critical Defense Industries

Whereas 99 percent of the electricity used by CONUS military bases is supplied by the national electric grid; whereas the Department of Defense has testified to Congress that DoD cannot project power overseas or perform its homeland security mission without electric power from the national grid; whereas the Congressional EMP Commission warned that up to 9 of 10 Americans could die from starvation and societal collapse from a nationwide blackout lasting one year; therefore the Secretary of Defense is directed to urge governors, state legislators, public utility commissions of the 50 states, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the utilities that supply electricity to CONUS military bases and critical defense industries, to protect the electric grid from a high-altitude nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, from natural EMP generated by a solar super-storm and from other EMP threats including radiofrequency weapons, and to help the states, NERC, public utilities commissions, and electric utilities by providing DoD expertise on EMP and other such support and resources as may be necessary to protect the national electric grid from natural and manmade EMP threats. The Secretary of Defense is authorized to spend up to $2 billion in FY2017 to help protect the national electric grid from EMP.

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