SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 2, 2011) - In order to prepare America for high-impact and economically crippling, regional or nationwide Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) events, whether solar or nuclear, today the EMP Defense Council(SM) proposed that the following steps be taken by the Federal government:
(1) Enact a 100% tax credit for a fixed 10-year period for EMP-related R&D expenditures by any U.S.-based company with 500 employees or less.
(2) Pass legislation to require all publicly-traded companies in the U.S. to document in detail and take action on credible EMP disaster and business-continuation plans. Such plans now are non-existent, or cursory and not implementable in a timely manner. Work with FASB (the Financial Accounting Standards Board) and the SEC to draft regulations requiring auditors to rigorously vet these plans.
In the case of EMP events, void by statute the "business judgment rule" in American case law that may shield board members from liability in the case of statistically-predictable and cataclysmic 100-year solar flares and nuclear-based EMP acts of war that should be expected by a rational actor -- just as the 11 September 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center should have been expected.
In the case of energy utilities and interstate telecommunications companies, instruct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), respectively, to establish binding performance standards and annual testing to ensure that such companies' infrastructure can withstand EMP events.
(3) To level the playing field and prevent unfair competition, promulgate product liability regulations that hold manufacturers and board members in critical industries liable for failure of their products (domestically manufactured or imported) during an EMP event, starting with the avionics, medical device, building systems, and gas & oil pipeline controls industries -- analogous to the "CE" mark required of all products sold in the European Union.
Encourage NIST, IEEE and other standards-setting organizations to rapidly establish EMP-resistance standards for all capital equipment, essential consumer electronics and durable goods, and emergency-response vehicles sold in the U.S.
(4) Establish a multi-level succession of command (in case of incapacity or death) from the President of the United States down to the cabinet level that has the authority during or prior to an EMP event to completely or partially shut down the U.S. electrical grid to reduce damage, and to order all domestic and in-bound commercial airline flights to land immediately to limit fatalities.
(5) Pass an EMP Economic Stimulus Act -- along the lines of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Work Projects Administration (WPA) -- both to reduce unemployment, and to, in particular, build redundancy and manual override systems into the nation's water-supply infrastructure, electrical grid and nuclear power plants.
(6) Vote on a non-binding Congressional Resolution encouraging electrical engineering (EE) programs at American universities to require all students to take at least one course on "Design for EMP"; and
(7) Declare the 11th of September "National Emergency Day" to promote awareness of EMP and allow both companies and families to prepare actively for an EMP event or national disaster of any type, similar to Japan's September 1st "Disaster Prevention Day," marking the 01 September 1923 Great Kanto (Tokyo) Earthquake.
David Palella, the Founder of the EMP Defense Council(SM), noted: "In the case of solar EMP events, scientists reliably estimate that major Earth-irradiating solar flare events occur once every 100 years and the last occurred in 1921 -- 90 years ago. The previous major solar flare event before this, which disrupted most telegraph communications throughout Europe and North America and caused dozens of forest fires (due to sparking of telegraph lines), took place in 1859 -- only 62 years earlier.
"Similar solar EMP events today would greatly impair the electrical grid, the basis of all modern human society, and negatively impact global GDP for 2 - 9 years. Moreover, NASA, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and various EMP experts estimate that a major coronal mass ejection (CME) pointed at Earth could possibly lead within one year to the eventual deaths of 100s of millions of people worldwide, mainly due to long-term loss of electrical power and interruptions to food production, distribution and cold chains. The NAS further predicts such an event could cause immediate damage in the U.S. alone equal to '20 Katrinas' (over US$ 2 trillion) ."
The next solar cycle and flare activity will peak during mid-2013.
Despite detailed public records of the impact of solar flares on commerce and society going back 150 years , preparedness for solar EMP by American and European businesses and governments is almost nil. And the lessons that should have been learned from the localized March 1989 flare-induced "Quebec Blackout Storm" that left 6 million Canadians in sub-freezing temperatures for 9 hours have been forgotten.
David Palella further stated: "Whereas damage from other natural disasters is measured in the range of US$ 10 - 125 billion (e.g., earthquakes or hurricanes), damage from major solar EMP events will be measured in trillions of dollars and years of national or regional GDP (gross domestic product) impaired because the resulting electrical grid black-outs and brown-outs could last almost a decade due to severe bottlenecks worldwide in the production of large-scale power-station transformers and capacitors."
Michael Doerr, President of Air2Air Corp. in Carlsbad, Calif., and Chief Technical Advisor - Aviation for the EMP Defense Council(SM), observed: "Preparations for regional or hemispheric solar EMP events are both urgent and offer governments and corporations worldwide the opportunity to engage in tenable, high-value job-creation programs to reduce global unemployment. Industries that should be targeted and strengthened to prepare for EMP include point-source alternative energy, traditional power generation, avionics, medical devices, telecommunications, water supply infrastructure and emergency services."
The EMP Defense Council(SM), a business unit of BioScience Ventures Inc., acts as a catalyst to mobilize companies, industry associations, standards-setting groups, product designers, engineering schools and government entities to prepare America for EMP.