SHIELD Act To Protect U.S. Grid
A large enough pulse (EMP) could destroy the electric grid, notably the rare and very expensive transformers that form the grid’s backbone. Without them and the power they deliver, a vast swath of American technology and every system that relies upon it would go dark for months or even years, some fear — essentially sending the country back to the stone age.
To address this threat, Congressman Trent Franks and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich introduced a bill Tuesday to protect the grid. Called the SHIELD Act, or the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage, the bill would push the federal government to install grid-saving devices, surge protectors that could save the transformers and power system from EMPs.