Tuesday, February 16, 2016

EMP, once again

"If people really knew how devastating it would be to the United States, people would be clamoring for action. Immediate action."

It seems every now and again, somebody new gets wind of how serious an EMP event could be for our country. How bad it could be, regardless if it was natural or unnatural. Truthfully, I remember needing to study up on the EMP threat in the 1980's, when it was part of the Soviet order of battle. Nothing has changed since then, except the Soviet threat no longer exists. But he EMP threat is as real as it has always been.

An EMP threat to this country is bigger than any other threat. Period. That is a hands down fact. And it has been for years. If people really knew how devastating an EMP event would be to the United States, they would be clamoring for action. Immediate action, if not sooner.

I am now going to tell you something that a few already know. But many do not. And this will infuriate many of you who have never heard this. Just prior to 2004, a commission was formed to evaluate the effects of an EMP event in the United States. The commission complied a report and presented it to Congress in 2004. It was called the Report of the Commission to Access the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. I have a PDF copy of the report on my computer. Also, who in Congress as there to hear the findings.

The report was not shy in explaining how such an event would cripple our country. Thousands, maybe millions would or could die. Everything would come to a absolute standstill. But the most devastating effect would be to our electric grid. It is old, brittle, and in terrible shape. An EMP could totally disable huge sections of our grid. No power means no water, no heat, no anything where you live. And that means a slow death to many.

The infuriating part is this. Since our Congress knew of this threat in great detail since 2004, what happened with the now infamous "Stimulus Bill" of 2009? That was a great chance to fix this vulnerability. But this $831B boondoggle did absolutely nothing. It was called a "shovel ready" bill and named the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It was loaded with goodies and earmarks from just about every Democrat in Congress. And many of those same Democrats sat through the testimony in 2004 on the dangers of an EMP.

Now comes the punch line. It was estimated that in 2009 the cost to modernize, make rugged, and make "smart", our national grid would be about a third of what was authorized under the Stimulus Bill. And if we had started work in 2009, with this project getting a high DX  procurement rating from the government, it would be mostly done by now. We would have a highly efficient grid, which would save money for the consumer. And yes, it would be impervious to any EMP event, natural or unnatural.

So the next time you read a story about how bad an EMP event could be, just know this. We have been aware of this threat for decades now. And we had the chance to fix it seven years ago. If our nation is crippled by an EMP event, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. And we have to explain that to our children.

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