Americans Support Bolstering Defenses Against EMP Attacks

Center for Security Policy poll shows 48 percent support passing EMP defense law

U.S. electrical grid / AP
July 24, 2013

Nearly half of Americans support Congress passing a law to bolster the U.S. defense system against a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, according to a poll released on Wednesday by the Center for Security Policy.

Rep. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.) introduced the SHIELD Act last month that would increase the safeguards protecting the U.S. electric grid.

Forty-eight percent of Americans favor such a law, while 29 percent oppose and 23 percent are undecided, according to the poll.

When respondents were given additional information about what an EMP attack entails, support jumped to 70 percent.

The CSP poll found that the majority of both Republicans and Democrats support a SHIELD Act-style law, but independents are split, with 36 percent supporting and 39 percent opposing.

Support for the law is particularly high among women (68 percent), the black community (53 percent), and college graduates (73 percent), according to the survey.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said it was "very important" for Congress to take action to protect against a potential EMP attack, 34 percent said it was "somewhat important," and 12 percent said it was "not important."

The poll of 1,000 Americans was conducted on behalf of the CSP by the polling company inc./WomanTrend from July 11 to 14. The margin of error is +/- three percent.