Wall Street Journal: Bureaucratic Dysfunction Has Kept The Government From Preparing For EMP

Joe Colangelo, a former U.S. Navy officer and the executive director of Consumers’ Research, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, 13 June 2016, titled EMPs: A Threat We’re Not Ready For.

The piece cited a recent congressional hearing to show that federal agencies have done little to prepare for the threat.

An EMP produced by solar activity could cause extended blackouts for 40 million Americans and cost as much as $2.6 trillion, according to a 2013 study by Lloyd’s of London. In 2014 the executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security told Congress that EMPs pose “existential threats that could kill 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse.”

The executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security referenced in the quote above is Dr. Peter Pry, who wrote an endorsement for my novel Patriarch Run. I posted Pry's testimony to Congress here.

Colangelo also made the case that bureaucratic dysfunction has kept the Federal Government from carrying out the nearly 100 recommendations made by the  2008 Congressional EMP Commission.  

In April the Government Accountability Office released  an alarming account of the bureaucratic dysfunction obstructing EMP mitigation. The GAO determined that although divisions within Homeland Security have been assigned specific tasks, departmental leaders have failed to ensure that this work is carried out.

Colangelo suggested that the probability of a major solar storm in the next 10 years was 12%.

Disruption of the electrical grid could have, as the GAO says, “cascading impacts on fuel distribution, transportation systems, food and water supplies, and communications and equipment for emergency services.”

Benjamin Dancer

Benjamin is the author of the literary thriller Patriarch Run, the first book in a series that will include Fidelityand The Story of the Boy. He also writes about parenting, education, sustainability and national security.

Benjamin works as an Advisor at a Colorado high school where he has made a career out of mentoring young people as they come of age. His work with adolescents has informed his stories, which are typically themed around fatherhood and coming-of-age.

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