First, that blue-ribbon panel, the Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse Threat Commission, needs to have its mandate extended well beyond its planned termination date at the end of this month. Otherwise, all other things being equal, the nation’s most eminent, authoritative and valuable resource on grid vulnerability will be lost when it is arguably needed most. A perfect opportunity to re-up the EMP Commission will occur this week when the Senate considers the National Defense Authorization Act.
Second, the Commission’s previous recommendations for enhancing grid resiliency – dating back to 2004 – should be adopted and aggressively implemented by President Trump and/or the Congress. There is simply no time to waste.
Finally, the commitment expressed by Mr. Trump and legislators on both sides of the aisle to upgrade America’s infrastructure must begin with a commitment to design, build and operate a new grid featuring modern electrical power plants, transformers, control systems, etc., that are “hardened” against the various military and natural perils we confront today and will face tomorrow.
We are all on notice: A failure to act now leaves us in unacceptable, even mortal peril when, not if, the power goes out.