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Last week in what amounts to a lobbying arm of the utilities industry, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released a so-called “scientific study” that misleadingly and dangerously low-balls the threat posed to the U.S. electric “grid” from enemy-induced or naturally occurring electromagnetic pulses (EMP).
Fortunately, a number of America’s actual experts on the subject—including a former CIA director, experienced engineers and national security practitioners—have stepped forward to debunk the EPRI report as what has been accurately described as “junk science,” reminiscent of past tobacco industry-underwritten efforts to have putatively independent “scientists” dis-inform the public about the actual dangers of smoking.
This message was powerfully conveyed in a press conference held last week on the steps of the State Capitol of Alabama in Montgomery.
The event was co-sponsored by the Save the Grid Coalition and the EMP Task Force on Homeland and National Security and moderated by Frank J. Gaffney, executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy, which sponsors the coalition.
The press conference participants were welcomed by Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, USAF, the host of a four-day meeting at Maxwell Air Force Base of the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force, which drew them and several hundred other leaders to address EMP and other electronic spectrum threats—and President Donald Trump’s executive order directing the military and relevant civilian agencies to mitigate them. The press conference speakers critiqued the EPRI study based on that organization’s previous, discrediting track-record of advocacy, rather than objective research and on a sneak-preview of the document.
They were: former Clinton Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey; former staff director of the congressionally mandated EMP Threat Commission, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry; former Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, Amb. Henry Cooper; chairman of the Foundation for Resilient Societies, Thomas Popik; author and grid-down consultant, Jonathan Hollerman; executive director of the Alabama chapter of Eagle Forum, Becky Gerritson and chairman of Eagle Forum’s Terrorism Committee, Commander Theresa Hubbard, USCG (Ret.).
Video of the press conference is available at www.SecuretheGrid.com, and its co-sponsors issued a statement offering several specific critiques of the defective EPRI report including, notably, its:
- faulty assumptions about the amount of damage nuclear weapon-generated or severe solar storm-induced EMP would cause to transformers, SCADAS and other control systems:
- reliance on computer modeling, unsupported by experimentation
- ignoring abundant data derived by the Pentagon, civilian agencies and government-sponsored studies, including much of it based on such experimentation; and
- the ominous evidence that enemies of this country have doctrines and capabilities that make EMP attacks anything but the “low-probability” threat that underpinned the EPRI report’s don’t-worry, be-happy effort to minimize it.