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To: Rep. Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Dear Mr. Chairman:
There is abundant evidence that the backbone of our society, the nation`s electric grid, is in danger of catastrophic disruption-including, as a result of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. As you know, this sort of attack, caused by a high-altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon, could collapse the critical infrastructures (water, food, finance, transportation, telecommunications, medicine, etc.) that depend on the grid to operate, thereby dooming many millions of Americans.
Even if our enemies do not use such techniques to destroy our country, unless we protect the grid, intense solar storms will have basically the same effect. Such storms occur roughly every 150 years. The last storm was 155 years ago.
Over the past decade, no fewer than eleven different studies have been produced by the federal government that all reach essentially the same conclusion: Our grid is extremely vulnerable and failure to protect it invites disaster.
We don`t need more studies to tell us that we have a problem. The U.S. military has been hardening some of its most critical assets against EMP for decades. So, we know how to shield our civilian power grid. But we haven`t done it. And we can`t afford to postpone any further putting such protection into place.
Legislation designed to end our vulnerability to these dangers, the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage (SHIELD) Act (H.R. 2417), has languished in your committee for too long.
It is within your power to take up the SHIELD Act immediately. By so doing, you can help prevent the possibly imminent destruction of our nation`s electric grid.
I respectfully ask that you do everything necessary to move forward with the consideration and prompt adoption of the SHIELD Act.
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