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                          STATEMENT OF

     Re:  Review of the Emergency Alert System, Notice of 
     Proposed Rulemaking

     The importance of our ability to quickly and effectively 
inform the public of an emergency cannot be understated.  Whether 
the issue is a terrorist attack or impending weather disaster, 
our success in this endeavor can mean the difference between life 
and death.  Currently, we rely almost exclusively on the 
Emergency Alert System to disseminate warnings to the public.  
EAS therefore serves a critical purpose, yet it applies only to 
analog broadcast and cable television and its use is, in many 
instances, merely voluntary.  We need either to update this 
system or to replace it with a more comprehensive and effective 
digital warning mechanism. 
     I strongly support initiation of this rulemaking to 
determine the best solution to ensure that all Americans can 
receive emergency information.  I am pleased at the coordination 
that has taken place to date with the Department of Homeland 
Security and the Department of Commerce, and I look forward to 
working with these partners as well as our colleagues at the 
state and local level to develop the best system to protect the 
American people.