The Bush administration’s National Energy Plan is gaining support from members of the electrical industry, as the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) last week expressed its approval of the plan. The bill, which was 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 necessary to protect the reliability of the electric grid.

The reliability provisions of the bill provide for FERC oversight in the United States, ensure the full and equal participation of Canada and Mexico, and protect the roles of the states and regions in supporting reliability of the interconnected North American electric grid. With support from NERC and several other state government, industry, and consumer groups, the bill will now go to conference to resolve differences with the energy bill that was passed by 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. “With the passage of this bill, we are strongly encouraged that they will finish the job this year.”