May 3, 2016— Fix the Grid, From the Bottom Up!

May 3, 2016— Fix the Grid, From the Bottom Up!

A growing number of Americans are concerned that the once highly classified threat from an electromagnetic pulse is still not being addressed, even though the Pentagon has known about it for a half-century and most essential matters were made public in the 2008 EMP Commission report. Our civil infrastructure was never hardened, except for communication systems to assure connectivity from the President to our strategic forces.

I am midstream in a series of conferences in Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, and Alabama, hosted by various concerned citizens in each of those states.  Briefings are being provided by members of the Secure the Grid Coalition, who seek to end America’s existential threat to all Americans posed by threats to the electric power grid. The Coalition includes the Center for Security Policy, High Frontier, the EMP Task Force for National and Homeland Security, the EMP Special Interest Group (SIG) of InfraGard, and several others.

I expect the videos from many if not all of these conferences will be posted on the Secure the Grid webpage (http://securethegrid.com/) — and we will provide links from our High Frontier webpage as they become available.    

We began in Austin, Texas, in a conference sponsored by State Senator Bob Hall, who well understands the EMP threat from his involvement as an Air Force Lieutenant in Norton Air Force Base efforts to harden our Minuteman strategic ballistic missiles in the 1960s — then a highly classified matter because we learned from the 1962 Starfish Prime high altitude nuclear test that all our strategic systems were vulnerable to the High Altitude EMP, or HEMP effects. 

I also was involved during the same period in such survivability/vulnerability efforts with all our strategic systems at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory in Kirtland AFB in New Mexico, where we developed simulators and conducted independent assessments of our strategic systems to all nuclear weapons effects.

Senator Hall and I also share a concern that this once highly classified matter of the EMP threat is not being addressed by today’s “powers that be,” even though most essential matters were made public in 2008 with the publication of the second report of the EMP Commission. Our critical civil infrastructure was never hardened except for some communication systems to assure that the President can command our strategic forces following an EMP attack.

This lack of response is partially because most Americans never heard of the issue, and astonishingly no one is in charge of addressing it — especially at the national level.

Neither the Executive Branch nor the Legislative Branch has faced up to this important — and I repeat, existential — threat to all we hold dear.  There are signs of an awakening, but far too little is being done to deal effectively with this critical matter anytime soon.

Dealing with this reality should be a major concern of the re-established EMP Commission, if ever the Defense Department actually follows the directions from the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016, signed into law last November. The Commissioners are ready to serve again, but the Feds have been dragging their feet, now almost six month later.  

Meanwhile, as the clock ticks on, states are beginning to take their own initiatives — but there again they are running into political resistance — probably due to ignorance resulting from the previously highly classified and not well understood nature of the EMP Threat.

Many want to think the threat is just some “right wing” political gambit, and are ignorant of the fact that both informed Democrats and Republicans are urging that this issue should be a concern of all Americans. Indeed if there ever was a non-partisan issue, this is it! For an example of this reluctance, click here for immediate local press reaction to our Austin conference that feeds claims that the threat is so remotely possible that it need not be addressed.

Such skepticism no doubt was a reason for the failure (by a single vote, I understand) of Senator Hall’s valiant effort to get legislation last year to deal with the threat in Texas — and the Texas legislature meets only every other year.  Just so, in the Lone Star State, the beat goes on . . . and hopefully our conference in Austin will help him in his continuing efforts to rally support for needed counters to the threats to the electric power grid.  

My point is that neither the federal government nor most state governments are leaning forward to address this existential threat — which for the good of all Americans deserves urgent attention. And in general the electric power industry and their lobbyists are blocking the way ahead.

I understand that Dominion Electric is an exception — and is actively engaging to seek solutions.  The major military presence in Virginia may be a key reason for their welcome positive engagement.

And as I am explaining in my briefings, Duke Electric is also an exception — and I am working closely with some of their engineers in a Pilot Study to determine how local authorities and first responders (Sheriffs, police, firemen, county emergency managers, etc.) can work with them to assure that the grid can be re-established in case of a major shutdown that could place all Americans in the dark for an indefinite period, if we don’t get our collective act together.

(FYI, I receive no support from Duke Energy and High Frontier is supported by contributions from the private sector.)

I am spreading this word that we need to work the problem as an engineering problem from the bottom up — as we are doing in York County, SC and in Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties in North Carolina.  As an engineer who has been part of many cutting-edge technology efforts, I believe effective countermeasures are entirely feasible if we just get our act together.

March 29, 2016—“Convert, Submit or Die”—Connect the Dots!

A key objective of Duke Energy’s pilot study is to provide a basis for assuring that the nation’s nuclear reactors become a critically important part of restoring the electric grid after a major grid shutdown — and removing the possibility that they could otherwise be a radiation hazard following loss of electricity. Click here to view the current state of the winds that over time could carry across the nation such radiation from the eastern interconnection, which includes over 90-percent of the nation’s nuclear reactors.  (Lest you misunderstand, I am an advocate for nuclear power — just done right to protect our citizens from such a hazard.)

This pilot study which, with the blessing of Duke Energy management, will work with appropriate Sheriffs, the first responder community and National Guard to assure their nuclear reactor, hydroelectric, coal and gas power plants and renewable energy sources can be reinstated after a total grid shutdown.   

My own personal view is that we will never have confidence that the entire grid can be hardened and maintained in a hardened configuration — rather it is most prudent to assure that fully-tested viable electric power source “Islands” be assured and become the basis for restoring the rest of the grid as quickly as possible.

Anyway, that is our objective with the Lake Wylie Pilot Study in York County, SC and Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties, NC.  I will keep you posted of our progress.

I also made this promise to folks in Indianapolis at JD Miniear’s National Security Summit last Saturday. They are particularly interested because Duke Energy also provides a significant portion of their electricity in Indiana.  

As I write this message, I am preparing my briefings for emergency responders in Louisiana — up to and including Governor John Bel Edwards. In addition to addressing the threats to the grid from the bottom up, I also will be emphasizing Louisiana’s potential role in protecting the entire nation against the ballistic missile threat posed by vessels in the Gulf of Mexico. 

It is astonishing that we find ourselves in this situation given that the threat is so well known as illustrated by the following quotation from former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.  Note the date and that neither he nor any of his lieutenants did anything to deal with this all too real threat. 

“Countries have placed ballistic missiles in ships – dime a dozen – all over the world. At any given time, there’s any number off our coasts – coming, going. On transporter-erector-launchers, they simply erect it, fire off a ballistic missile, put it down, cover it up. Their radar signature’s not any different than 50 others in close proximity.”

Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld, Pentagon Press BriefingSeptember 16, 2002

So, among others, our local and state authorities need to urge the powers that be in Washington simply to deploy on military bases around the Gulf of Mexico — possibly including in Louisiana — the same Aegis Ashore systems that we are deploying in Romania (now operational) and Poland (slated for 2018).  See the following chart.

May 3, 2016— Fix the Grid, From the Bottom Up!

Again, we know how to do this — no research and development is needed. We just need get on with defending the Americans as well as our European allies

I get positive reactions from citizens when I point out the absurdity that we are so foolishly leaving them vulnerable to this threat as well as the threats to the electric grid. More accurately, I find they become angry that their elected officials are failing in their sworn duty to “provide for the common defense.”

We can do these things . . . the only question is, “Will we?”

For the good of my kids and grandkids, I hope so.

Get involved yourself, and stay tuned!!!

Bottom Lines.

Demand that your elected official straighten out this mess — beginning at the local level with the folks you know!  Literally, your life is at stake!

State legislatures and the U.S. Congress should pass legislation to address the problems, and on behalf of the American People demand an end to this dysfunctionality and provide for the common defense.

Congress should also provide a more constructive regulatory arrangement of the electric power operations that deals effectively with the reality of the EMP threat, as well as other threats to the grid.   

There are some signs of movement in the right direction — for example, with helpful language in the Energy Bill for Fiscal Year 2016.  But we have a long way to go before the near Commander of Northern Command, soon to be sworn in, can report that part of her job will be to help protect the American People as part of the NORTHCOM mission. Incredible and absurd as it seems it is not part of her mission today.

Hopefully, the Defense Department will soon re-establish the EMP Commission, as directed by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016, signed into law some five months ago.

These issues should be high priority items on their agenda. Not the least should be to help identify “Who’s in charge?” . . . or more importantly to recommend, “Who Should Be in Charge!”

Stay tuned!

Near-Term High Frontier Plans.

We will continue to inform our readers of the looming threats we confront — and where appropriate urge them to engage in countering those threats.  We will press for building the most cost-effective ballistic missile defenses possible and working with South Carolina folks to build a coalition to engage constructively with private citizens and their local and state representatives and other authorities to work with the SC National Guard in understanding and responding to the existential threats to the electric power grid.

We are especially focused on the nuclear power reactors that produce 60-percent of SC electricity—and more generally 20-percent of the nation’s electricity. If it can be assured that they “operate through” a major blackout of the electric power grid — and I believe it can, then these reactors can play a very important role for resurrecting the grid over an extended time and supporting the general public’s survival in the meantime.

See the new figure just added to the top of our webpage for an illustration of how wind patterns might carry far and wide any significant radiation from the nation’s reactors if we don’t get this right!

What can you do?

Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.

Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.

Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage www.highfrontier.org, for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.

Encourage them to review our past email messages, posted on www.highfrontier.org, to learn about many details related to the existential manmade and natural EMP threats and how we can protect America against them. I hope you will help us with our urgently needed efforts, which I will be discussing in future messages.

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