Skip to comments.Lights out: House plan would protect nation's electricity from solar flare, nuclear bomb
Posted on 06/19/2013 8:33:49 AM PDT by BenLurkin
Amid growing fears of a massive electromagnetic pulse hit from either a solar flare or a terrorist nuclear bomb, House Republicans on Tuesday will unveil a plan to save the nation's electric grid from an attack that could mean lights out for 300 million Americans.
Dubbed the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, the legislation would push the federal government to install grid-saving devices such as surge protectors to protect against an attack.
"It is critical that we protect our major transformers from cascading destruction. The Shield Act encourages industry to develop standards necessary to protect our electric infrastructure against both natural and man-made EMP events," said Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican who is offering up the bipartisan bill.
Electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, has come into focus because of fears the sun is pushing out unusually big solar flares that can disrupt the electric grid. Defense officials are also worried about a terrorist attack, possibly in the form of a small nuclear bomb exploded overhead.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
Sounds like something from a spoof spy movie.
Pass this bill and a few cronies will get richer and the electricity infrastructure will be worse off.
The faster they get this done, the better. Much of the electrical grid needs to be modernized anyway.
Plan involves 20 million Mexicans and a lot of candles...
To be bought and paid for by your “skyrocketing” utility bills.
So, the level of capital investment in the power generation industry should be set by politics, not the marketplace? Seriously?
do they think these don’t exist
Is there a single High Voltage Transmission line in the US that doesn't already have this equipment to protect against lightning strikes and switching surges?
This like creating a new law to require automobiles to have bumpers.
However, Obama would give no credibility to that policy as he is seen as weak and vacillating.
you don’t know anything at all about this do you.
what a friggin boondogle, porkulus pos this is. Somebody’s going to get rich and nothing will be made any better.
Hussein would welcome an EMP attack on America.
It is nearly impossible to protect us from a solar flare. This is another expensive power grab.
“The faster they get this done, the better.”
They, who? And what, exactly, needs to be done?
Follow the money, and it's easy to see the Millions spent on Lobbying, Campaign Donations, Fund-Raising sponsorships, with a Quid Pro Quo of favoable treatment AND BIG MONEY GRANTS of taxpayers' earnings to the same bunch, every time.
Something tells me it’ll involve a lot of expensive, privacy grabbing equipment that can only be procured from big campaign donor’s companies.
Call it a hunch.
the government will fix this like it fixes everything else.
Build hamster wheels for all Demonrats.
Lock them in.
Whip them into meaningful production.
Hunch? That’s a straight up conclusion, my FRiend. Someone has figured out how to capitalize on this EMP nonsense and has the ear of a congress critters.
Fortunately, based on past performance we can conclude that this equipment will not only not work as designed, may in fact cause fires (Karmas burning in newark parking lot were spectacular addition to Sandy damage!) and other unforseen injuries and damages.
Check this on Wikipedia.
Read this book: One Second After. Chilling.
This is a war that will be over, literally, in one second. And we'll be the losers.
I dunno about you, but I have that pained, constipated look on my face as I mouth the words:
“Aw Jeez... not this *&^^ again!”
I’m starting to think of running for Congress, just so I can be the only engineer in the House.
When legislation like this would come up, I’d have a pre-planned minute speech to give:
“All of you with liberal arts degrees... shut the *&*&^ up. Sit down. You’re too stupid to do anything constructive about this issue, or even understand this issue. Please, in the name of all that does not suck, shut up.”
How do you think that would look on C-SPAN?
This is long overdue, and I hope it gets some legs and passes. But I’m afraid that too many legislators don’t take this issue seriously, just like they don’t take any security issue seriously until something horrible happens.
This bill would help strengthen the grid in the same way Obamacare improved our health care.
Don't encourage politicians to make technology decision about which they don't understand. All it will do is cost money, make no improvements and likely cause more problems.
All significant High-Voltage Transmission Lines, High Voltage Transformers and associate Substation ALREADY have surge suppressors on them.
Can we please stop wasting $$$ on pointless efforts.
Only a high yield nuclear warhead detonated high in the atmosphere would generate a large enough EMP to do sizeable damage.
If that happened, we are in WWIII so we might as well save the 1T$ it would cost to upgrade.
Neither does the Federal or local governments know the details either. Why do you want them making the decisions?
“assist local governments in hardening the electric grid. “
“. An EMP attack or powerful solar flare could send this country back to the 18th century for more than a decade,”
Didn’t know local government owned the electrical grid. Are you claiming we should turn communist and “nationalize” power distribution? Are you a communist?
Are you an electrical engineer? Do you even have a clue what you are talking about? Do you get your information from other idiots on other web sites that simply repeat such nonsense often enough that you all know believe it? Do you also believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and global warming? How about that “ozone hole” everyone claimed we just had to ban fluorocarbons or else we were all going to die yet that ozone hole is still there even after banning man-made ozone killers?
I just want my lightbulbs back that were stolen from me by a republican president, senate and house!
“are you? “
Yes, that’s why I am NOT concerned about the grid. I am also an expert in EMP effects and am not concerned there, either. I know you internet experts all believe what you tell each other but your knowledge of such things is laughable to point of being childish and believing in global warming or the Easter Bunny. In fact, the basis of belief in EMP is identical to the beliefs in global warming: Everyone says it so it must be true. “Experts” are quoted. “Facts” are passed around. And we are all going to die if we don’t address the “issue”.
While a few are this way, most are not.
so - yes - they do know the details - they are the ones running the systems.
No. Even in a municipal utility, the elected officials, the ones that would decide the content of the regulations and make them law, do NOT know the details.
Can you name a single elected official you have voted for in the past that does know this level of detail?
This is one thing that government actually does pretty well.
Can you give me an example where they have done this well in the past.
people like you who obviously don't know anything about it?
I'm an Electrical Engineer, specialized in power. I started my career working in electric utilities but was bored to death. I moved to design electrical power systems, mostly for the oil/gas/petrochem industry. I've helped specify, purchase, design, construct and start up electrical high voltage transmission lines, switchyards, transformers relays. I've designed Protective Device Coordination Systems, provided the PE stamped calculations and programmed in the set points. I'm currently involved in two major expansions of 138kV Substations. All of those past and current project already have Surge Suppressors.
I don't know your expertise and won't claim I do. But be sure to call you congressman and urge them to make these laws and spend our tax dollars, because you are sure it will help.
I just wanted to give you a heads up.
The threat of EMP seems real enough to me. As I believe in a strong military and national defense, I agree that we should have federal standards that require hardening our infrastructure against EMP threats. We cannot rely on free markets to accomplish this automagically. No company wants to take on this cost when their competitors do not because it will put them at a competitive disadvantage because costs have to be passed on to the consumer. So there is no profit advantage for prepping the grid for doomsday. However, there is an interest in the future of our nation.
EIA > Home > Energy Explained > Secondary Sources > Electricity > Electricity in the U.S.
Who Sells Electricity?
Sales by each kind of provider in 2011 (latest data available) totaled:
Investor-owned utilities 54%
Non-Utility & Power Marketers 19%
Public Utilities 15%
Federal Power Marketing Authorities 1%
By the way, those dams only provide about half your power. While Hydro does provide the large majority of your power, the city doesn't own enough to supply the demand.
Seattle City Light's hydroelectric projects on the Skagit and Pend Oreille Rivers provide about half of the power customers need. The remainder comes from a mix of power sources, including long-term contracts with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and others.
Bonneville Power Administration is a federal nonprofit agency.
Don’t hold your breath. The grid will get hardened just about time the fence gets built. We are going to wait on that to happen as fast as we can get our own solar system installed. :-)
In the military, in the 1980s, we had this argument with some foreign units, we Americans had to carry heavy EMP protected radios, while the Danes for example, got to carry a tiny little radio that the unit developed itself, but which was totally unprotected.
The argument was what would happen if some nukes went off, would they be left as useless in the field, unable to send back their intelligence.
Who was right?
Here is a 1993 Canadian report from their defence, Radiation Effects Section Electronics Division on EMP and the PRC-77, the radio we used in the 1980s.
Oops here is the report.
Ever heard of a “Cornonal Mass Ejection?” The Carrington Event in 1859 was caused by one. Telegraphs across Europe and the US failed, many of them delivering shocks to their operators.
The same thing today would probably wipe most electronic technology from the face of the planet.
I stand corrected on the secondary issue of whether most electric utilities are public or privately owned. I incorrectly extrapolated from the local to the national situation. But that is not the main issue here, that is NOT the point of the discussion. The issue is whether the electrical grid is vulnerable to human-generated EMP or solar flare degradation, and I will stand behind my opinion on that issue, which has been researched by panels of well-informed experts and has been deemed a potential threat to national security.
Ok, I was wrong on that point of utility ownership, which is really irrelevant to the main point of this topic, but the issue of whether EMPs are a threat to the electrical grid is the main issue, and I agree with those - including many experts in the field - who think it is an issue. I am getting sick of these moronic conservatives who seem to think that ALL government action is communistic. I think they are mentally challenged, quite simply, stupid.
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