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New Legislation

grid security; long term power outage

Bills to protect the grid continue to be introduced but there is strong opposition to legislation requiring hardening of the grid.  Large donations and buy-offs from electric utility companies and associations have stalled many bills in Washington.

As of September 2017:  1) NO state or federal legislation includes language requiring hardening of the U.S. electric grid, and 2) only two states (Virginia, Arizona) have state disaster planning scenarios for EMP.

  • February 27, 2015 (Introduced; Passed Dec. 2016):  Congressman Trent Franks introduced H.R. 1073, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA).  It was passed in December 2016 by inserting its language into the National Defense Authorization Act.  This bill, long-championed by Rep. Franks and sponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson, had traveled a long and arduous road.  This bill’s passing went virtually unreported by main stream media but was arguably the single most important legislation passed in 2016.
  • March 4 & 12, 2015 (Introduced):  The State of Texas’ Rep. Tan Parker introduced H.B. 2289 and Sen. Bob Hall introduced S.B. 1398 which dealt with electrical grid protections.  Both bills were blocked in May 2015 by committee chairs who received large donations from electrical utility companies and associations.
  • January 14, 2015 (Introduced, Passed Mar. 2015):  The Commonwealth of Virgina passed  S.B. 1238 in March 2015 which had been introduced by Sen. Bryce Reeeves.  Governor Terry McAuliffe signed this bill requiring the commonwealth’s Department of Emergency Management (DEM) to plan for responses to disasters caused by electromagnetic pulses (EMPs).  The requirement is part of the DEM’s overall mission of disaster preparedness.
  • 2014:  Louisiana’s preparedness office is examining the possible effects of an EMP event.
  • February 4, 2014 (Introduced; Passed Apr. 2014):  The State of Arizona passed S.B. 1476 in April 2014 which which had been introduced by Sen. Kimberly Yee and Sen. Lynn Pancrazi.  The bill required Arizona’s emergency management agency to incorporate EMP preparedness into its disaster planning.
  • 2013:  Kentucky set up an interagency working group to examine EMP preparedness efforts.
  • October 30, 2013 (Introduced):  Congressman Trent Franks introduced H.R. 3410, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA).  In its original submission, CIPA directed and empowered the Department of Homeland Security to harden and protect our critical infrastructure including power production, generation, and distribution systems.  Also, in its original submission, CIPA amended the 2002 Homeland Security Act to secure critical infrastructure against electromagnetic pulses and other purposes.  The bill was referred to and stalled on December 2, 2014 in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
  • January 29, 2013 (Introduced; Passed May 2013):  The State of Maine passed L.D. 131 in May 2013 which had been introduced by Rep. Andrea Boland.  L.D. 131 was the first legislation in the nation to begin the process to protect the electric grid against electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and geomagnetic disturbance (GMD).  EMP’s, such as high-altitude nuclear explosions, and GMD’s, such as major solar flares and storms, have the potential to critically disrupt or destroy the electric grid.  LD 131 focused on the research of threats to Maine’s electric grid and did not include language requiring hardening of Maine’s electric grid.
  • February 11, 2011 (Introduced):   Congressman Trent Franks, backed by a broad bipartisan coalition, introduced H.R. 668, the SHIELD Act.  The SHIELD Act was virtually identical to the earlier GRID Act, except it focused on EMP threats, in an effort to avoid the jurisdictional controversy that dead ended the GRID Act.  This bill was referred to and stalled 7 days later in the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power.
  • Grid Act