Senate dumps strategy to prevent EMP damage

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by RainBoKatchr, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. RainBoKatchr

    RainBoKatchr Member

    The U.S. Senate has dropped a House-approved plan that would prepare the United States to defend itself from an attack from any electromagnetic pulse source – whether it would be from a natural solar flare or the detonation of a space-located nuclear weapon by enemies intent on destroying America's infrastructure, according to a representative who has raised alarms over EMP.

    U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., said it is "unfortunate."

    "While one part of the federal government was warning us of possible solar electromagnetic-pulse damage to our electric grid, a key Senate commission approved a bill to ignore this threat," he said.

    "It's particularly ironic since the Senate amended a bill, H.R. 5026, approved unanimously by the House that would specifically protect the grid against solar EMP and other physical threats," he said.

    The concern is that any nuclear detonation that could be launched into the atmosphere anywhere from 25 to 250 miles above the United States could decimate the nation's electric grid, essentially transporting it instantly back to an era of mechanical machines and agriculture.

    One estimate just months ago suggested an effective EMP attack could leave 9 out of 10 Americans dead.

    Bartlett explained that the danger also comes from naturally occurring EMP signals from sources such as a solar storm.

    Just in the past few days, the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued several alerts concerning a sun flare that happened. The alert forecast a "Coronal Mass Ejection" from the sun would impact the earth.

    Then, a short time later, Fox News reported the storm caused "a fantastic light show in North America" and the NOAA estimated the impact ranged from minor to moderate.

    "The National Academies of Sciences predicted in a 2008 report that a solar geomagnetic storm as severe as the Carrington event that occurred in 1859 could inflict $1 trillion to $2 trillion [damage] and take 4-10 years to recover from. That compares with the $300 billion impact of Hurricane Katrina," Bartlett noted.

    Another report from NASA estimated such a cosmic "superstorm" could cause as much damage as "20 Katrinas."

    Whether the damage would come from a natural solar event or a nuclear bomb detonated in the atmosphere over America, the results could be the same for power distributors, telecommunications companies, satellite and aviation-sector companies – a virtual shutdown.

    The results for Americans would be a collapse in the delivery system for food, fuel, information and communications.

    Bartlett noted EMP from a severe solar geomagnetic storm in 1989 shut down the electric grid in Quebec, and he cited a 2008 study from NASA that found the storm caused $2 billion in damage.

    Among its many other impacts, it destroyed a transformer at a nuclear plant in New Jersey, Bartlett's report said.

    Even so, Bartlett said, yesterday the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee decided to dump the House plan, H.R. 5026, which directed "the Secretary to establish a program to develop technical expertise in the protection of systems for the generation, transmission and distribution of electric energy against either geomagnetic storms or malicious acts using electronic communications or electromagnetic pulse."

    Instead, adopted was a Senate plan, S. 1462, which instead promotes "clean energy."

    "H.R. 5026 had been approved unanimously by the House on June 9, 2010, and previously by the House Energy and Commerce Committee 47-0. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee's version of H.R. 5026 doesn't include physical threats to the grid such as electromagnetic pulse," Bartlett reported.

    "It's a big IF, but IF the Senate approves EITHER an energy bill OR a cybersecurity bill that includes grid-security provisions, there could be a conference to reconcile differences between the Senate and the House version of H.R. 5026," he said.

    The Senate's substitution for the House security provision is "to provide financial support for deploying clean-energy technologies."

    It also requires the assembly of "a renewable-energy credit-trading program and an energy-efficiency credit-trading program, under which utilities will submit credits to comply. ..."

    The House plan concerned itself with "emergency measure" to protect the reliability of the nation's grid.

    WND reported previously when Bartlett warned such an attack virtually is inevitable.

    At that time, he said, while cyber-attacks are a concern, a "really robust [nuclear] EMP lay-down means microelectronics across the country would be shut down [and] you have no power ... there's one event that we will not avoid, and that is a solar electromagnetic interference, solar storm. If we have a big one like the one that occurred back in 1859, that would shut down the whole grid for quite a long while. … It would cost about $100 million to protect much of the grid, but if the grid went down, it would cost us between $1 trillion and $2 trillion in damages, and the loss of life could be horrendous if in fact you were without electricity for months at a time."

    William R. Graham, chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack and the former national science adviser to President Reagan, had testified before the Congress and issued an alarming report on "one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences."

    He identified vulnerabilities in the nation's critical infrastructures that "are essential to both our civilian and military capabilities."

    Not taking the steps necessary to reduce the threat "can both invite and reward attack," Graham told the members of Congress at the time.

    EMP is a pulse of energy that can be produced from nonnuclear sources, such as electromagnetic bombs. Some experts claim an electromagnetic-pulse shock wave can be produced by a device small enough to fit in a briefcase. But the most threatening and terrifying type of EMP attack could come following a blast from a nuclear weapon 25 to 250 miles above the Earth's surface. Like a swift stroke of lightning, EMP could immediately disrupt and damage all electronic systems and America's electrical infrastructure. A detonation over the middle of the continental U.S. "has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures that support the fabric of U.S. society and the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power," said Graham.

    "Several potential adversaries have the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear-weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse, and others appear to be pursuing efforts to obtain that capability," said Graham. "A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication. For example, an adversary would not have to have long-range ballistic missiles to conduct an EMP attack against the United States. Such an attack could be launched from a freighter off the U.S. coast using a short- or medium-range missile to loft a nuclear warhead to high altitude. Terrorists sponsored by a rogue state could attempt to execute such an attack without revealing the identity of the perpetrators. Iran, the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism, has practiced launching a mobile ballistic missile from a vessel in the Caspian Sea. Iran has also tested high-altitude explosions of the Shahab-III, a test mode consistent with EMP attack, and described the tests as successful. Iranian military writings explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States. While the commission does not know the intention of Iran in conducting these activities, we are disturbed by the capability that emerges when we connect the dots."

    An EMP assault could prove devastating because of the unprecedented cascading failures of major infrastructures that could result. Because of America's heavy reliance on electricity and electronics, the impact would be far worse than on a country less advanced technologically. Graham and the commission see the potential for failure in the financial system, the system of distribution for food and water, medical care and trade and production.
  2. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Wow, that's disturbing information. Where is the article from? Looks like an authentic write-up! Thanks for posting it.

  3. Salekdarling

    Salekdarling Member

    My friends and family think I'm nuts for stocking up on food, supplies, weapons, and prepping my bug out bags... They are even going as far as calling me Rambo. I've told them all that it i s better to be safe then sorry. I had to post this link on facebook. I'm hoping that everyone on there I know will spread the word about the possibility of being completely off the grid for a long time...but we all know sheeples don't pay attention to the "fear mongers" called survivalists.

    I can't imagine what people would do without their precious video games, tv or internet. I'm also kind of worried that considering I just began my research, learning about homesteading and collecting supplies...will I be any where near prepared as some if you on this forum when the SHTF? I guess less worrying, MORE PREPPING! :D
  4. SurvivalNut

    SurvivalNut Retired Army

  5. kyfarmer

    kyfarmer Well-Known Member

    This act alone show's the govt. intent to reduce the population of our nation, they are not dumb enough to think this might not happen. They expect something like this to take place some day soon in the age of terrorism that was pure neglect not to do this. This is a screw you and all your families america, we don't give a crap about your safety. :mad:
  6. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with you Kyfarmer. Hope everyone has some form of EMP protection for their electronics and related items! Wish the transportation industry would take this threat more seriously!!!!!!
  7. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    With all the outrageous arrogance, ignorance, greed and flaming incompetence of our masters in DC, if TSHTF in a big way, I could see a remake of the old movies with the villagers bearing torches and pitchforks -- and rope -- to deal with those bastards. I'm not encouraging it -- I'm just saying...........
  8. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    Gee, Salekdarling, why would you need a bob? Who ever heard of anything nasty happening in Johnstown, Pa? :ignore:

    I'm in your corner. Just keep nodding and smiling and prepping. Remember, Noah was a prepper.

    For those of you who aren't East Coastish, Johnstown PA has had 2 catastrophic floods in the last 110 years or so.
  9. Salekdarling

    Salekdarling Member


    LOL. Very true. Ahh, good ol' Johnstown. I live about 10 minutes from downtown Johnstown. You think after two floods they'd try to relocate the city from the valley. Genius. And yes, Noah was a prepper! Go Noah!
  10. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    If you're out of the floodzone, your biggest problem might well be people. Same here. My area has lots of "cabin folks", otherwise known as "flatlanders". Many of them are our good friends, but if TSHTF, lots and lots of city folks will make their way up here completely unprepared -- but with a few guns and some ammo. Desperate people do nasty things.

    I can't help but think that in your last (was it 1906?) flood, people were still self reliant and tough enough to the point that they could get by eating beans every evening for supper and still keep working until they could improve their situation. But today?!?

    Yup. Shelter, water, food and ammo. And ammo. Did I say ammo? Oh, and don't forget the ammo.:(
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  11. Salekdarling

    Salekdarling Member

    Last flood was in 1977.
  12. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    Very interesting artical....

    And now my paranoids are saddling up and heading out!! ever think maybe Terrorist will read that and think.." SLAP the forehead" WOW what an idea!! lets do it! a few scuds on a few tramp freighters launching just off the coast.. no react time..

    OR !!! those wonderful folks who brought us Waco, Ruby Ridge" and maybe OKC... might decide that the way to deal with all us "Constitutionalists" is to set off their own EMP and declare Martial law ... and let the inner city's burn to get rid of those pesky types...

    Yanno it would work... and blame it on the Muslims... excuse to hammer Islam to dust..

    Gotta quit smoking them damn Crayolas ! specially them grape ones!
  13. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    aren't MOST (USA) preppers relative 'Constitutionalists'... AND fiercely independent?... wouldn't that backfire on them then? :D
  14. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. This could happen at any time. I am making a BOB for my office as well as my car. I know my car won't run if EMP attack happens, but I'd rather have more than I need to get home than not. I must remember to put in some walking shoes because I generally wear dress shoes to work.