Capitol Hall Report August 20, 2015 – Texas Deserves a Secure Electric Grid, Part Three

Twenty-first century technology and today’s geo-political environment has significantly elevated the significant threats to the safety of Texas.  In particular, the catastrophic effects of an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) event, either man-made or natural, could dramatically affect our lives as we know it.  This is a nationwide threat; however, Texas stands alone in its ability to protect its electric grid from this threat. Texas is the only state with an electrical grid that is essentially isolated from the rest of the nation.


According to the Congressional EMP Commission, the nation’s power grid is vulnerable to the transmission of an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP).  Well documented research expressly shows that an EMP has the proven power to incapacitate our electricity system, without causing harm to humans or create radiation or collateral blast damage.  The EMP threat and its seriousness is not something newly discovered.  For decades, the U.S. military has known about the wide spread and catastrophic damage an EMP could cause. The military began requiring that most electronic equipment be designed and built to survive an EMP event.  By its very nature, an EMP would render completely inoperative all unprotected electronic devices within its destructive radius.  Modern motor vehicles will stop running; stand-by generators will not start; and water pumps will cease to work. There would be no communications; nothing electrical will operate.


As a Texas State Senator who tried in the 2015 legislative session to get a bill passed to harden the Texas grid against an EMP attack or nature’s GMD, I learned first hand the strong control the electric power company lobby has on elected officials. We did manage to get a weak bill passed in the Senate but the power companies had it killed in the House.  A very deceitful document which was carefully designed to mislead legislators was provided by the power company lobbyist to legislators at a critical moment in the process.  The document was not just misleading, it actually contained false statements.  The EMP/GMD threat is real and it is not “if” but WHEN it will happen.  The responsibility for the catastrophic destruction and wide spread death of Americans which will occur will be on the hands of the executives of the power companies because they know what needs to be done and are refusing to do it.  In my opinion power company executives, by refusing to work with the legislature to protect the electrical grid infrastructure are committing an egregious act that is equivalent to treason.  I know and understand what I am saying.  As a young US Air Force Captain, with a degree in electrical engineering from The Citadel, I was the project officer who lead the Air Force/contractor team which designed, developed and installed the modification to “harden” the Minuteman Strategic missile to protect it from an EMP attack.  The American people must demand that the power company executives that are hiding the truth stop deceiving the people and immediately begin protecting our electrical grid so that life as we know it today will not end when the terrorist EMP attack comes.


Below is an excerpt from and excellent article published  by Family Security Matters, “Heading Toward An EMP Catastrophe” written by by Ambassador James Woolsey and Dr. Peter Vincent Pry.


“For over a decade now, since the Congressional EMP Commission delivered its first report to Congress eleven years ago in July of 2004, various Senate and House committees have heard from numerous scientific and strategic experts the consensus view that natural and manmade electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is an existential threat to the survival of the American people, that EMP is a clear and present danger, and that something must be done to protect the electric grid and other life sustaining critical infrastructures–immediately. Yet this counsel and the cost-effective solutions proposed to the looming EMP threat have been ignored.  Continued inaction by Washington will make inevitable a natural or manmade EMP catastrophe that, as the Congressional EMP Commission warned, could kill up to 90 percent of the national population through starvation, disease, and societal collapse. EMP, while still inadequately understood by policymakers and the general public, has been the subject of numerous major scientific and strategic studies.  All of these warn by consensus that a natural or nuclear EMP, in the words of the Congressional EMP Commission, “Is one of a small number of threats that has the potential to hold our society seriously at risk” and “Is capable of causing catastrophe for the nation.”  Such is the warning not only of the Congressional EMP Commission, but of studies by the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the National Academy of Sciences, the Department of Energy, the National Intelligence Council, a U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report coordinated with the Department of Defense and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and numerous other reports. Ignorance of the military doctrines of potential adversaries and a failure of strategic imagination is setting America up for an EMP Pearl Harbor that could easily be avoided–if we would only heed that terrorist sabotage of electric grids and cyber attacks are early warning indicators.”


Since Congress has again failed to take action to protect our nation by not addressing this well-documented homeland security threat, a number of state legislatures have decided to take action to protect their citizens.  Maine was the first state to pass a grid protection bill in 2013 with wide bi-partisan approval.  The Arizona legislature is requiring its emergency management agency to develop preparedness recommendations for the public in the event of an EMP or GMD (solar flares) incident.  Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Indiana are debating electric grid protection issues in their state legislatures or have already taken action in some way. It is time Texas takes a stand to protect Texans now and for generations to come.