Press Release


Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse Attack

Media Contact: (202) 226-8417

Washington, D.C. – The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, chaired by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), will hold a hearing entitled “The EMP Threat: Examining the Consequences” tomorrow at 10 a.m. in Room 311 Cannon House Office Building.

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation that can be generated by nuclear weapons, specialized non-nuclear EMP weapons, or natural occurrences such as solar storms.  An EMP attack would cause wide-ranging and damaging effects to the Nation’s electrical grid upon which our telecommunications, energy, and other infrastructure is dependent.  As Americans’ reliance on electronics grows, our vulnerability to the EMP threat increases.

Tomorrow’s hearing will examine the nature of the threat and the consequences of an EMP attack.  Members will have the opportunity to hear from Federal witnesses on their planning strategies and public/private partnerships to improve preparedness.

Lungren said: “The Washington D.C. area was recently impacted by a deadly fast moving storm called a derecho, which was one of the most destructive and deadly thunderstorm systems in North American history. It resulted in 22 deaths, widespread damage and millions of power outages from the Midwest to the Middle Atlantic States. This derecho provides a glimpse of the destruction that could be unleashed by an electromagnetic pulse attack where our digitally-dependent economy and military would be severely degraded. As America’s digital dependence grows, our vulnerability increases to the EMP threat. Our hearing will examine the consequences of an EMP attack and whether we’re adequately protecting our critical infrastructure from this growing vulnerability.”

WHAT:                 Subcommittee Hearing: “The EMP Threat: Examining the Consequences”

WHEN:                10 a.m., Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WHERE:              311 Cannon House Office Building

**Live video feed will be available HERE

Opening statements, witness testimony, and the live video feed will be available HERE.

Witness List:

Panel I

Hon. Trent Franks
A Representative in Congress from the 2nd District of Arizona

Panel II

Mr. Joseph McClelland
Office of Electric Reliability
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Mr. Brandon Wales
Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Michael A. Aimone
Business Enterprise Integration
Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Installations
Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
Department of Defense

Panel III

Mr. Chris Beck
Electric Infrastructure Security Council