Urgent Action Needed on Climate Protection and New Clean Power Grid

New Report by NERC Reinforces Need to Take Quick Action on Clean Energy

WASHINGTON, DC (November 10, 2008) – The National Electric Reliability Council (NERC) "Special Report on Electric Industry Concerns on Reliability Impacts of Climate Change Initiatives" issued today reinforces the view that delays in crafting a national climate policy are hurting the reliability of the electric grid. The report also asserts that the nation’s power grid needs upgrading to accommodate generation from renewable, clean power supplies.

The following is a statement from David Hawkins, director of NRDC’s Climate Programs:

“Today's report makes clear that we need a climate policy for the United States that includes comprehensive solutions for our nation's energy challenges. We can make our nation's electric system more reliable, less vulnerable to blackouts, and less dependent on pricey fuels by tackling our climate and energy problems as one. Federal climate policy should include resources to upgrade the nation’s electric grid, expand efficient energy use, and increase our reliance on geographically diverse renewable energy supplies.

“The Bush Administration’s own U.S. Department of Energy in a May 2008 report concluded that 20 percent of power could be supplied reliably by 2030 from wind alone. But in the face of continuing uncertainty about the design and timetable for cutting global warming pollution from the power sector, investments in both generation and transmission are being deferred. As the report asserts, we urgently need action to protect the climate and the Congress should act without delay to start building a new, clean power system.”