On July 6, 2010, the Commission held a Technical Conference to discuss issues related to the development and enforcement of mandatory Reliability Standards.  At the conference, industry participants expressed concern over the current process and division of authority between FERC and North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”).  Though industry participants acknowledged that issued have been raised regarding NERC’s oversight role, participants appeared to resist an increase in oversight by FERC.

Utility officials expressed concern over FERC’s active role in reliability.  John A. Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Consumers Resource Council, commented on FERC’s recent decisions regarding mandated changes to NERC’s rules of procedure and Penalty Guidelines Policy Statement (see March 19, 2010 edition of the WER).  He said that FERC should give more explicit consideration to the reliability and cost impacts of revisions it directs NERC to make.  He added that FERC should ensure that its directives are kept within its mandate to only approve and remand standards approved by NERC.

John Q. Anderson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of NERC, also prepared a statement at the technical conference.  He stated that the Commission’s Order directing NERC to modify its standards process creates a “complex” situation, but encouraged continued open communication between NERC and the Commission. He noted that NERC follows the standards that meet the American National Standards Institute standards-setting requirements.

A copy of the John A. Anderson’s statement is available here.

A copy of John Q. Anderson’s statement is here.