William R. Forstchen's book "One Second After" opened a lot of eyes to the effect an EMP would have on life as we know it. The prospect of an 80% to 90% mortality rate within a year is a sobering thought. But these days electricity is a commodity almost as important as the things it provides: water, food, and medicine to name a few.
So it's somewhat reassuring that Congress is holding hearings on the subject. Elizabeth Harrington at Freebeacon.com writes about it in Hearing: Electric Grid Vulnerable to EMP. Here's an excerpt quoting one of the participating representatives:
“Some would say it’s low probability, but the damage that could be caused in the event of an EMP attack, both by the sun, a solar event, or a man-made attack, would be catastrophic,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas). “We talk a lot about a nuclear bomb in Manhattan, and cybersecurity threat to the power grid in the Northeast, and all of these things would actually probably pale in comparison to the devastation that an EMP attack could perpetrate on Americans.”
McCaul's opening address can be seen at this YouTube link.
Hardening the civilian grid will be expensive, and those expenses will jack up our electricity bills. But it's money well spent.