CONGRESS WAKES UP TO CATACLYSMIC THREAT
Plan in works to counter event that could trigger mass starvation
F. MICHAEL MALOOF
June 18, 2013
WASHINGTON – As the technologically sophisticated U.S. faces the increasing threat of an electromagnetic pulse attack from a man-made, high altitude nuclear explosion or an “inevitable” massive solar flare, Republicans in the U.S. House are trying to prepare a defense.
They are proposing legislation to protect the vulnerable U.S. electrical grid from an attack so cataclysmic 90 percent of Americans could be affected, including many who would face starvation.
The legislation aims to get the federal government to ensure that vital hardware and other devices are installed in the national grid system to protect critical infrastructure such as systems that supply water, food, fuel, communications, transportation, financial transactions and emergency services.
The protection would be employed by hardening the grid to ensure that it can be brought back should it be subjected to such an event.
The alternative, said Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., who will introduce the legislation called the SHIELD Act, could leave the nation without electricity for months and possibly years and affect some 90 percent of the American people, subjecting them to starvation and death.
SHIELD stands for Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act.
“This is a problem big enough to be seen but small enough to fix before an EMP happens,” Franks said at a news conference.
He was accompanied by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been outspoken in recent years on the threat of an EMP attack.