On February 16, 2011, Congressman Trent Franks launched the EMP Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The launch of this new EMP Caucus coincided with the introduction of H.R. 668, the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage (or SHIELD) Act. That legislation unfortunately died in committee with the 112th Congress.
An article by the National Journal in March of 2013 said that “A small but growing cadre of House members is set to relaunch efforts to protect the nation against what they say is a very real threat: the unleashing of an electromagnetic pulse either by a solar storm or a nuclear-armed foe that could cripple much of the nation’s electrical infrastructure.” The National Journal graphic is to the right – they seemed to key on the fact that some members of the EMP Caucus are also on the Missile Defense Caucus. (Well, duh. Isn’t that part of the EMP issue?)
On June 18, 2013 the EMP Caucus of the 113th Congress introduced H.R. 2417 Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage (SHIELD Act). The bill has again been referred to committee. It was sponsored by Trent Franks [R-AZ8] and it currently has 24 co-sponsors:
Broun, Paul [R-GA10]
Clarke, Yvette [D-NY9]
Duncan, Jeff [R-SC3]
Fortenberry, Jeff [R-NE1]
Gosar, Paul [R-AZ4]
Hartzler, Vicky [R-MO4]
Hunter, Duncan [R-CA50]
Jordan, Jim [R-OH4]
King, Steve [R-IA4]
Kline, John [R-MN2]
LaMalfa, Doug [R-CA1]
Lamborn, Doug [R-CO5]
Perry, Scott [R-PA4]
Pittenger, Robert [R-NC9]
Pitts, Joseph [R-PA16]
Posey, Bill [R-FL8]
Royce, Edward “Ed” [R-CA39]
Stewart, Chris [R-UT2]
Wilson, Joe [R-SC2]
Stockman, Steve [R-TX36] (joined Jun 20, 2013)
Bishop, Rob [R-UT1] (joined Jul 22, 2013)
Calvert, Ken [R-CA42] (joined Jul 22, 2013)
Johnson, Sam [R-TX3] (joined Jul 25, 2013)
Miller, Jeff [R-FL1] (joined Sep 11, 2013)
So, my question for you is this: Is your representative on the above list of co-sponsors of the SHIELD Act? If not, it is time to put democracy in action. Make a phone call or write a letter. Don’t know who your representative is but are too embarrassed to say anything? No problem. Go to the U.S. House of Representatives’ website by clicking here and enter in your zip code. If you’re not quite sure what to write, try this:
“Dear Congressman _____, If I don’t see your name as a co-sponsor of the SHIELD Act, I will not be voting for you.”
That should do it.
There is another piece of legislation that I recently wrote about (click here), which you should also tell your representative to support: H.R. 3410 The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (Introduced October 30, 2013). This was also introduced by Trent Franks and it currently has 16 co-sponsors (yes, mostly members of the EMP Caucus.)
So there is a group in congress that is trying. It is a bipartisan group. According to High Frontier the EMP Caucus is led by Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Yvette Clark (D-NY). Currently, there are 19 members. Here is High Frontier’s chart of the members as of July 25, 2013 (shortly after the SHIELD Act was introduced:
So, in closing, I wonder if this democracy thing actually works? The prolonged loss of the power grid is clearly a horrible threat to the United States and all of its voters. If the power grid went down for a long period of time, millions – perhaps tens of millions – of voters would die.
Perhaps something your congressman might be interested in?
But if you don’t want to make a phone call or send a letter to save your congressman’s voters, do it for your family. They will also die if the grid goes down for a year, whether by EMP, solar flare, cyber attack or any other reason.
Somebody needs to take action.