26 April, 2002 – The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) yesterday applauded the United States Senate for adopting comprehensive energy legislation that will help ensure the continued reliability and security of the North American bulk electric system.

The energy bill approved by the Senate authorizes the creation of an industry-based, North America-wide electric reliability organization, or ERO, to develop and enforce the standards needed to protect the reliability of the electric grid.

NERC and a broad coalition of state government, industry and consumer groups have voiced strong support for these reliability provisions. The Bush Administration’s National Energy Plan endorses a North American ERO and members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also have offered testimony supporting this approach. The bill will now go to conference to resolve differences with the energy bill that passed the House of Representatives last summer.

“The Senate has clearly indicated that we need to get on with the job of creating an electric reliability organization that will have the ability to set and enforce mandatory reliability standards throughout North America,” says Michehl R. Gent, NERC President and CEO. “Congress has been debating reliability issues for the past several years,” Mr. Gent added, “With the passage of this bill, we are strongly encouraged that they will finish the job this year.”

The reliability provisions provide for FERC oversight in the United States, ensure the full and equal participation of Canada and Mexico and protect the important roles of the states and regions in supporting the reliability of the interconnected North American electric grid. FERC oversight also ensures that the new ERO will operate efficiently and fairly. Copies of the reliability portion of this bill and related

NERC is a not-for-profit company formed as a result of the Northeast blackout in 1965 to promote the reliability of the bulk electric systems that serve North America. It works with all segments of the electric industry as well as customers to “keep the lights on” by developing and encouraging compliance with rules for the reliable operation of these systems. NERC comprises ten Regional Reliability Councils that account for virtually all the electricity supplied in the United States, Canada and a portion of Baja California Norte, Mexico.