Skip to comments.Lights out: House plan would protect nation's electricity from solar flare, nuclear bomb
Posted on 06/20/2013 7:49:53 AM PDT by LSUfan
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.
"This is serious stuff," said former Pentagon official Frank Gaffney, who heads the Center for Security Policy. But, he added, there is a growing bipartisan consensus to protect the electric grid.
Any EMP attack could be damaging, said Gaffney. He cited a new Lloyds of London report that determined that the area from Washington, D.C., to New York could be without electricity for up to two years in a major solar flare-up.
The legislation will be introduced Tuesday by Franks and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at a meeting of the House EMP Caucus. Officials said that the legislation, provided in advance to Secrets, will include information from a recent EMP commission report that "contemporary U.S. society is not structured, nor does it have the means, to provide for the needs of nearly 300 million Americans without electricity.''
Gaffney told Secrets that there are some 300 huge electric transformers around the nation that control the grid and that have to be protected. "You are basically talking about surge protectors, of a somewhat exotic kind, but it is a means of interrupting the pulse," he said.
One of the few times in recent years that I can recall the government planning to do something useful.
Hope they don’t screw it up, like they usually do.
The other question is how many of the more exotic solutions (read total techno boondogles) will go to Obama cronies who throw our money away?
yeah...show me a surge protector that can protect against a few mega billion EVs of instantaneous surge.
So....I’ll be dead, but my toaster will still function?
Umm... it’s my understanding that a celestial EMP event like a directed X-class flare would decimate anything electrical. We’re talking about a surge that would destroy anything with a current attached to it. Short of physically disconnecting the entire grid and shutting down the plants for the duration, I don’t know of any way to effectively prevent the destruction associated with something like this.
And let’s not forget the bigger problem we’d have: out of control satellites in orbit likely falling out of orbit and back to Earth.
The finger of God from Sol would be devastating in ways that we can’t possibly understand.
hussein would veto any such proposal.
This something they should definitely do and it does not really cost that much but watch it not pass both houses.
I believe the federal government is:
Basically Unable to Limit Losses by Shielding Highvoltage Infrastructure Transformers
(it’s gonna take more than that...once an EMP burst disrupts the computer-controlled SCADA systems and various parts of the grid start collapsing in an unpredictable random way, the damage is impossible to predict. It’s like putting surge protectors and good UPSs on your home computer won’t help if a meteor hits your house).
Solar panels and windmills for everyone so we can charge our Obama phones and listen to Dear Leader. /s
No the grid might function if they actually followed useful recommendations (they aren’t), but none of your devices in your home will work anymore.
Yep, they said the same about ObamaCare...
I'm very suspicious of a bill with the initials HEIL-D.
Sounds more like something to show that the senator is being useful than to show him actually accomplishing anything.
Do we have surge protectors that good? What would the cost of installing them be?
Follow the money to Gaffney and the senators bank account.
Like the ones Hams use to protect their radios from lighting strikes on the antenna?
Like those, for example?
doesn’t matter if you don’t protect the mid-range transformers too, as they are not built here in the usa.
Lightning Surge Suppressors already exist on essentially every high voltage line and significant transformers in the US.
get backups of your most critical devices, put in box, then put that box in a box covered in aluminum foil, sealed, no holes in the foil, and protect the foil with aplastic sheet. try to use paper to make sure inner box is not touching any side of the outer box, try to center it in the inner box.