Franks supports amendment to protect U.S. power grid

U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) released a full transcript last week of his speech supporting his amendment to the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015.

“National Security and the reliability of our national electric grid are inextricably related,” Franks said. “Without the grid, telecommunications no longer operate, transportation of every kind is profoundly affected, sewage and water treatment facilities stop and a safe and continuous food supply is interrupted.”

Franks said the nation’s present readiness system for electric grid failure is inadequate for the existing risks posed by electromagnetic pulse (EMP), other space weather events or man-made actions. He warned that the U.S. infrastructure could be undone by any significant occurrence.

Franks’ conclusions draw upon almost a dozen studies performed by federal agencies including the Defense and Energy departments and National Academy of Sciences.

“The United States bulk power grid is critically vulnerable to severe space weather and electromagnetic pulse, and this represents a profound danger to this nation,” Franks said.

Additionally, national security advisers have illuminated the potential for a crippling “kill shot” - or weaponized electromagnetic pulse attack - type of event for which the nation must be ready.

Franks said his legislation amends Section 215 of the Federal Power Act by creating a proactive platform for industry and government cooperation  to address possible power grid disturbances.

“We live in a time where the vulnerabilities to our electric grid, our most critical infrastructure, are big enough to be seen and still small enough to be addressed,” Frank said. “This is our moment.”

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