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Gingrich warns U.S. of ‘very dangerous’ Obama directive

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Newt Gingrich

The day before President Trump was inaugurated, a Democrat-controlled commission set new standards to protect the America’s life-sustaining electric grid that will leave the U.S. vulnerable to a devastating electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack from a hostile nation such as North Korea or Iran.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s directive, issued Jan. 19, will protect the nation only from an EMP caused by solar activities.

The move was condemned by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a top adviser to Trump during the presidential campaign.

“There’s a very, very dangerous decision being made today by the energy commission on how we protect ourselves from electromagnetic pulse,” Gingrich said in a “Fox and Friends” interview Jan. 19.

“It is being designed as stupidly and as destructively as possible. … If I were [President Trump], it’s one of the things I would literally repeal late tomorrow.”

“A Nation Forsaken” warns of the growing threat from an EMP, either from a natural solar event or an attack from America’s enemies. Threatened are not only the nation’s power lines, but its banking, fuel supply and even food distribution systems.

WND reported Jan. 16 the warning of William R. Graham, the former director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and science adviser to President Ronald Reagan.

Graham said FERC’s ruling, which came three days later, “is likely to have far-ranging, seriously counterproductive national security implications.”

Graham was chairman of the 2008 congressionally mandated EMP Commission.

He said FERC’s inadequate action would “have a “significant near-term impact on our national security, especially in view of recent moves by North Korea to establish an EMP-attack capability with (intercontinental ballistic missiles), nuclear missile-carrying submarines and satellites.”

Former Ambassador Henry Cooper – who was President Ronald Reagan’s chief representative in the “Star Wars” initiative negotiations with the Soviet Union and SDI director under President George H.W. Bush – agreed that should Trump repeal the directive immediately and appoint new FERC commissioners “who will represent him by putting America first — not the electric power industry.”

Cooper said in a commentary for Family Security Matters “the shortsighted FERC rule means that when the ‘powers that be’ ever get around to addressing the more threatening problem, they will have to start all over again in upgrading whatever they do in response to the less threatening threat.”

“The ‘manmade’ EMP threat includes a much higher amplitude low frequency component and contains high frequency components that are not part of the ‘natural’ EMP threat,” he said.

Cooper explained that protecting the grid from the manmade EMP threat also protects it from the natural EMP threat, but the converse is not true.

He noted the new Department of Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelley, promised during his confirmation hearing to address the issue.

Kelly was asked for his assessment of the threat posed by electromagnetic pulse, ground-based missile defense, cyberattack and physical attacks to the nation’s critical infrastructure.

“All these threats, in addition space weather, pose potentially catastrophic dangers to U.S. infrastructure, particularly our energy, transportation and telecommunications networks, which are the lifeblood of our economy,” Kelly said.

“Mitigating these risks to an acceptable level is vital. The department has a critical role to play.”

He promised, if confirmed, to “pay particular attention to these threats.”

‘Unprecedented cascading failures’

Because of the continued threat of an EMP not only from a natural solar storm but also from a manmade high-altitude nuclear detonation, Congress last year renewed the EMP Commission in section 1089 of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act.

As chairman of the commission, Graham warned in 2008 that the United States is especially vulnerable since its critical interdependent infrastructures rely, more than most other nations, on electronic components.

While the electrical grid and electronic components have given the U.S. major economic, industrial and societal advantages, Graham previously has testified to Congress that these critical interdependencies also create the potential of multiple, simultaneous disruptions and failures.

An EMP event, whether natural or manmade, would cause “unprecedented cascading failures of major infrastructures,” Graham said.

The critical, life-sustaining infrastructures that depend on the vulnerable national grid include telecommunications, banking and finance, automated control systems, petroleum and natural gas, transportation, food and water delivery, emergency services and space systems.

Obama appointees

Graham pointed out the FERC is dominated by three Obama administration appointees.

“It may not be an accident that this action is being addressed on the last full day of the Obama administration rather than at a time when the Trump administration can influence the ruling,” Graham told WND on Jan. 16.

He said Trump, as president, will have the authority to appoint three new FERC commissioners between January and July 2017, giving the regulatory board a Republican majority by mid-summer.

“A rebalanced FERC could mandate integrated protection against both [natural] and nuclear EMP, with substantial cost saving and major infrastructure survivability improvement that would significantly strengthen national security,” Graham said.

“A Nation Forsaken” warns of the growing threat from an EMP, either from a natural solar event or an attack from America’s enemies. Threatened are not only the nation’s power lines, but its banking, fuel supply and even food distribution systems.

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