Our Power Grid Is Way Too Vulnerable

Newt Gingrich: 'EMP' attack or natural disaster could be catastrophic
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2012 1:21 PM CDT
Lineman Tommy Williams installs a bolt on a power line pole as his crew repairs downed power lines in Middleburg, Va., on July 3.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – Newt Gingrich lost power along with countless others in the recent heat wave, and it got him thinking about one of his pet subjects: the vulnerability of the nation's power grid. A massive solar storm could inflict "doomsday-level damage," as could a terror attack. "It is almost unthinkable, yet possible, that an enemy could detonate a nuclear weapon over the atmosphere over the continental United States, triggering an electromagnetic pulse," he writes in the Washington Post. Our national power grid would be zapped for months, if not years.

What to do? Lawmakers must be pressured to shore up the grid with measures such as fortified bunkers. Legislation to do just that stalled in the Senate two years ago. This latest disruption was just a blip, but it still caused chaos. "We think life is back to normal," writes Gingrich. "But what if this had been more than a brief interruption?"

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