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Congress Told: U.S. Life Unsustainable After EMP

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WASHINGTON – Congress today was told that the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t identified an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, event as a serious national security threat to the nation’s grid system even though testimony revealed it could making living in the United States “unsustainable” for 70 to 90 percent of the population.

And the few billion dollars it would cost to harden systems against such an occurrence is hardly the tens of billions or hundreds of billions it could cost to repair the damage. 

Brandon Wales, director of the DHS Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center, was unable to give a cost breakdown so that Congress would know how much money needs to be provided by the federal government in view of the tremendous costs of such hardening defenses that the private utilities would incur.Continued below.

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He, along with other witnesses from the federal government, testified on the consequences of either a natural or man-made EMP event on the national grid before the House Homeland Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz, who is on the House Armed Services Committee, also testified that the military is highly vulnerable to an EMP event, since it relies some 99 percent on the national grid to accomplish its functions.

Franks is sponsor of H.R. 668, known as the Shield Act, which provides authority to protect transformers.

“The potential threat is damage to the transformers” either from a solar storm or the effects of an electromagnetic pulse from a high-altitude nuclear explosion.

The legislation has passed the House of Representatives, but no action is planned at this writing in the U.S. Senate.

At the time the legislation was introduced in February 2011, Franks said that it was vital to secure the high-voltage electrical infrastructure from lethal damage.

“The threat of an electromagnetic pulse weapon represents the single greatest asymmetric capability that could fall into the hands of American enemies,” Franks warned at the time.

“Should a nuclear weapon from a rogue state such as Iran be detonated in Earth’s atmosphere at a sufficient height above the continental United States, the blast of electromagnetic energy could immediately cripple America’s electric power grid.

“Currently, the vast majority of the United States’ infrastructure is unsecured and exposed,” he said.

Franks said that an EMP blast could disable “so large a swath of American technology that between 70 percent to 90 percent of the United States’ population could become unsustainable.”

Franks also referred to the prospect that some of the most intense solar storms are expected to hit Earth by next year, according to scientists of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Academy of Sciences.

Natural EMP events happen during solar storms, which are predicted to reach their 11-year cyclical peak during 2013.

He said that the United States may have no more than 30 minutes to know the accuracy of where an intense solar storm could strike or what the severity of that storm will be, even though satellites do give some 24 hours of warning that such a storm is heading toward Earth. And then, only one in three times such a storm may be severe.

The problem for industry, Franks acknowledged, is not knowing whether to go to the expense of shutting down the national grid system – an action that would have to be taken since the system hasn’t been hardened sufficiently to handle either an intense solar storm and certainly not the pulse effect of a much worse high altitude nuclear explosion.

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    Total 9 comments
    • Anonymous

      So, is this a backhanded way they WILL get rid of 70-90% of Americans? Better watch out and be prepared for at least 2 weeks on your own.

      • Anonymous

        More like 2 years.

        • Anonymouse

          i thought is was 4 years???

    • Christian Proud

      Oh, Lord!

      Hear my Prayer!

      KNOCK THESE SAVAGE KILLER BASTARDS BACK INTO THE “STONE AGE”!

      Thank you for answering my prayer.

      From Your Loyal Servant here in HELL.

    • airspoon

      I’m wondering who would profit from an effort to “harden” American infrastructure…. In addition, only the government would likely benefit and where the government benefits, the people do not.

    • WhatBox?

      They don’t care but for themselves. You betchya they have their power needs covered! Don’t forget, it’s not just power outages….how many nuclear plants are around the nation that require power to keep running and from melt-down? Side note: I always found it weird that a “Power Plant” needs outside power to run safely…

      Proof is in the pudding…they (our illustrious leaders) send millions/billions of $$$$ out of the country, but don’t keep a strong infrastructure for their own country, real education for it’s citizens, and the big one, real health care solutions. So you think they care about some electrical issues?

    • kriisso

      How remiss of the DHS. Was Congress concerned about the omission? Did Brandon Wales make any mention of a guy called Zbigniew Brzezinsky who had this all sewn up up years ago. Oh sorry that was culling, not the effect of EMP event…..same result though

    • Anonymous

      By RRR. September 13th, 2012 Thursday, 9:52 P.M. EST.

      If a hand full of USAForce, Navy Aircraft can put the lights out of an area as big as ufo, ungodly North Korea or Iran then what would an EMP do to the power grid of Red China or any hostile nation. They always aim for the USA because it is a reality, but they can not scape in history or for Judgment Day. 9/11 was inisde the USA with external forces anf for sure they keep aiming for USA and allieds like Japan.
      The USA must adopt free energy and in the meantime correct for EMP and solar flares, heat waves and other ufo activity.
      AmericaUSA can not move forward with progress and prosperity since so many inflated obstacles are sending Us to a 3rd world nation status.
      The 3 step solution will end war and TRIBULATION, Inhuman ghetto world perdition and almost all migration. Water desalination plants for green house farming and safe effective reversible birth control for population stability. Red China with 1.5 billion people and India with 1.2 billion people must adopt measures ASAP to prepare for a worst future of drought and water rise, etc.
      With #1). An Erasable budget The USA and allieds can become equal and end migration, etc. The USA Allieds know that America is the King Nation, but them divided dead from inflated economics, Etc. can not funtion. #2). End “DISPARITIES OF WAGE DIFFERENCE”, #3) Adopt free nergy and Help heal humanity and our planet. I repeat this steps because someone will learn more intelligent economic futures and when they get together at the poor table of communications then they may adopt such economic victory for all Globally. THE END.

    • Anonymous

      Seems to be the Hegelian Dialect again
      A bit of scare mongering
      For the last three years electricians world wide have been working around the clock preparing for a solar pulse – is it safe to presume that that might include an EMP?

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