Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP): Should This be a Problem of National Concern to Private Enterprise, Businesses Small and Large, as Well as Government?: Field Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Government Programs and Oversight of the Committee on Small Business, House of Representatives One Hundred Sixth Congress, First Session, Laurel, MD, June 1, 1999   [open pdf - 4MB]

"This hearing is being held because the damage to our economy, businesses large and small--not to mention national security-- from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) could dwarf anything associated with the well-known Y2K problem. Yet the EMP threat is virtually ignored by our government and is practically unknown to the general public. Concerns about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the possession of such weapons by rogue nations makes a discussion of problems associated with EMP and the magnitude of those problems a most timely topic. However, few congressional hearings have been devoted to this topic, and there is little, if any, public awareness of EMP. As a matter of fact, I think that, previously, in 1997, we had the first ever full hearing on EMP effects in the R&D Subcommittee of our then National Security Committee. So this will be the second full hearing devoted to the problem of EMP effects. I believe it is imperative that our government take steps to defend against EMP. As with Y2K, the public and businesses need to be informed about what steps they could take to prevent or minimize damage from EMP. It would appear that the number of contracts awarded to small businesses by the federal government for EMP research has diminished significantly in the last five years. Is the federal government placing the correct priority on the problems associated with EMP and with the possibility or probability that they may occur? Is the public being correctly informed by the federal government as to what EMP is, the magnitude of the threat and the problems associated with it? It is hoped that the testimony today will answer some, if not all, of these questions. Also, it is hoped that the hearing and the permanent record available to the public after the hearing, both in hard copy and in abridged form on the Internet, will provide heightened awareness of what EMP is and the problems it could create". Witnesses include: Ronald Wiltsie, Gordon Soper, Lowell Wood, and Richard Skinner.

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