EMPact America remains committed to actively initiate and advocate on behalf of legislation and other appropriate actions that work to eliminate the devastating consequences to our critical infrastructure in the event of an EMP catastrophe. Currently, there is no federal legislation introduced in either the House of Representatives or the US Senate that directly addresses Electromagnetic Pulse and protecting our grid.
On March 26, 2014, Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Edward J. Markey introduced the Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense (GRID) Act in the House and Senate, respectively. The bill provides the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with the authority it needs to effectively address physical, cyber, electromagnetic pulse and other threats to—and vulnerabilities of—the electric grid. In 2010, the original GRID Act was reported out of the Energy and Commerce Committee by a vote of 47 to 0. It then passed the House by voice vote, but the Senate did not act on the legislation.
On June 18, 2013, Rep. Trent R. Franks introduced the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage (SHIELD) Act in the House. The bill would amend the Federal Power Act to protect the bulk-power system and electric infrastructure critical to the defense and well being of the United States against natural and manmade electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threats and vulnerabilities. The SHIELD Act incorporates most of the EMP-related language of HR 5026 from the 111th Congress, which passed overwhelmingly through the House, but was stalled in the Senate during the Lame Duck due mostly to additional language regarding cyber-security threats. The SHIELD Act also requires that standards be developed within 6 months, as opposed to 1 year, of enactment, ensuring a faster timeline of protection.