NATIONAL SECURITY, SCIENTIFIC LEADERS URGE LEGISLATORS TO RESIST ENERGY LOBBYISTS’ EFFORTS TO NEUTER BILL TO PREPARE TO SECURE AMERICA’S VULNERABLE ELECTRIC GRID

PRESS RELEASE  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 10, 2015 

Contact: Nicholas Hanlon: 202-719-2418                                                       10 June 2015

NATIONAL SECURITY, SCIENTIFIC LEADERS URGE LEGISLATORS TO RESIST ENERGY LOBBYISTS’ EFFORTS TO NEUTER BILL TO PREPARE TO SECURE AMERICA’S VULNERABLE ELECTRIC GRID

On May 14, a bipartisan group of national security professionals and scientific experts wrote to House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul.  They urged him to resist pressure from electrical utility industry lobbyists, pressure calculated to render meaningless a proposed statutory requirement for a “comprehensive plan” to protect the nation’s most critical of critical infrastructures: the bulk power distribution system, known popularly as the Grid

As introduced by lead sponsors Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Pete Sessions (R-TX), “The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act” (CIPA) would require the Department of Homeland Security “to develop specific plans, technologies, recommendations and best practices to protect the national electric grid and other critical infrastructures.”  The utilities reportedly seek to require nothing more than a “strategy.”

The effect would be – particularly, if taken together with definitional changes also sought by industry – to exclude from even this watered down “strategy” threats arising from man-induced electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

The letter states, in part:

“Such an alteration in the language of CIPA would render the bill meaningless, DHS ineffectual, and perpetuate the current situation where industry has failed to protect our critical infrastructures from EMP and other threats.  By contrast, the current CIPA language would harness the deep expertise resident in DHS, and potentially in other departments and agencies of the U.S. Government, to assess the risk of an EMP event and to identify the specific plans and technologies needed to help industry address the threat.”

The full text of the letter can be found electronically here.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, and a signatory to the letter, stated:

With each passing day, the critical infrastructure of the United States grows more vulnerable to devastating interruptions, particularly from electromagnetic pulses –  whether from a nuclear explosion detonated in space above our nation by Iran, North Korea or other hostile states, or by naturally occurring high-intensity solar storms.  We are long overdue for corrective action to harden our grid, action that has been delayed in no small measure by resistance from the electric utilities.

This timely letter renders an inestimable service to the American people – who have an urgent need-to-know that their elected representatives are being pressed to perpetuate the perilous state of affairs that needlessly leaves them exposed to the devastating consequences of grid collapse.

Among the letter’s signatories are:

Dr. William R. Graham – (Former White House Science Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, Administrator of NASA, and Chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission)

Ambassador R. James Woolsey – (Former Director of Central Intelligence)

Ambasador Henry Cooper – (Former Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative)

Mr. Fritz Ermarth – (Former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council)

Brigadier General Ken Chrosniak USA (Ret.) – (U.S. Army War College)

Major General Robert Newman Jr. USAF (Ret.) – (Former Adjutant General to the State of Virginia)

Dr. William Radasky – (President of Metatech, Lord Kelvin Medal for International Electromagnetic Protection Standards)

Dr. George Baker – (Former Chief Scientist for EMP Protection at the U.S. Defense Nuclear Agency)

Gueta Maria Mezzetti – (Former Co-Chair, Defense Science Board Energy Security Task Force (Policy) and Former Technical Co-Chair, Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel on Energy Security)

Mr. John Kappenman – (President, Storm Analysis Consultants)

Mr. Frank Gaffney (Former Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acting)

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry – (Former Staff Member, EMP Commission)

Mr. Kevin Freeman – (Chairman, NSIC Institute)

Cynthia E. Ayers – (Deputy Director, EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security)

Other signatories include members of the Secure the Grid Coalition. For more information, please contact: securethegrid@gmail.com