Franks Launches Caucus to Address EMP Threat, Introduces "SHIELD Act"

Feb 16, 2011 Issues: National Security
February 16, 2011 - Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) today released the following statement, following the official launch of the Congressional EMP Caucus and the introduction of H.R. 668, the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage (or SHIELD) Act.
 
"The threat of an electromagnetic pulse weapon represents the single greatest asymmetric capability that could fall into the hands of America's enemies. 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.
 
"According to some experts, just one properly placed EMP blast could disable so large a swath of American technology that between 70-90% of the United States' population could become unsustainable.

"The danger posed by electromagnetic pulse weapons, as well as naturally occurring electromagnetic pulses, has received increased attention over recent years from organizations including NASA, the National Association of Scientists, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Congressional EMP Caucus is a bipartisan effort to bring much-needed Congressional attention to what has amounted, to this point, to a considerable blind spot in our national security.

"In an effort to proactively address this blind spot concerning the danger of EMP, I have introduced H.R. 668, the SHIELD Act, which would secure the most critical components of America's electrical infrastructure against the threat posed by a potentially catastrophic electromagnetic pulse."