Just before Easter, the Wall Street Journal published an article critical of security standards and the standards-setting process in the utility sector. Working with APPA and EEI, NRECA submitted the following letter to the editor under the names of the respective CEOs.

Letter to the editor:

Wall Street Journal

Rebecca Smith’s latest article, “Proposal to Prevent Grid Attack Lacks Power, Critics Say,” warrants clarification from the electric power industry. Together with our members, we work closely with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to set standards that protect grid reliability and security.

All draft standards go through three levels of approval, including the industry, the independent NERC Board of Trustees and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, before becoming enforceable.

Electric power industry experts, as operators of the grid, serve as crucial subject matter experts to ensure the standards are appropriate and can be implemented. The NERC standard development process is approved by FERC and accredited by the American National Standards Institute. The standards development process is open to the public, including all interested parties who can comment and vote on draft standards. Participation on standard drafting teams is an important role that stakeholders can undertake; however, it is arduous and time-consuming. Stakeholders from all sectors can participate on drafting teams as a member or observer.

Protecting the security and resilience of the grid has been the industry’s foremost priority for decades, and we will continue to work in partnership with NERC and our other partners to ensure the delivery of safe, reliable, secure and affordable electricity to all Americans.

 – Jo Ann Emerson, CEO, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; Sue Kelly, President and CEO, American Public Power Association; Tom Kuhn, President, Edison Electric Institute