image_pdfimage_print on May 09, 2017 by Kim Riley

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a threat to national defense — that’s the one agreement everyone acknowledged during a recent U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.

Decisions beyond that statement would have been difficult for senators to make after they heard testimonies from several witnesses on various efforts to protect America’s power grid from EMP threats, both naturally occurring and man-made.

For instance, a former member of Congress called EMP capable of creating a cascading catastrophic event, while experts in the field denounced disinformation and alarmist thinking as masking the combined and ongoing efforts of the federal government and industry toward solving the problem.

Nevertheless, witnesses agreed that the EMP threat exists, a situation that puts the U.S. electric grid in a particularly vulnerable position. In fact, just this week it has been reported that North Korea may be plotting an EMP strike on the United States.

Cascading consequences “Just consider if one of these pulses were to be unleashed and disabled the power infrastructure on the East Coast. This isn’t simply about the lights going out,” said Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Speaker of the House.

The “catastrophic consequences” could include a grid failure that knocks out power, communications and transportation for a significant amount of time, in turn affecting hospitals, public safety agencies, first responders and millions of others, he said, adding that such a failure could be more damaging than the 9/11 terror attacks. See more…