The Alliance for Competitive Electricity last week called on Congress and the Bush Administration to address serious electric infrastructure deficiencies that it claims threaten adequate supplies of reasonably-priced electricity throughout the nation. The 11-member group currently reads like a list of who’s who in the power industry.

Alliance released a 12-page blueprint that it believes can help guide Congress and the administration in addressing these deficiencies. Among other things, the blueprint advocates incentives needed to upgrade a decaying infrastructure that threatens the reliable supply of reasonably-priced electricity. It calls for ensuring that the national transmission system operates as seamlessly as possible by expanding open-access requirements and easing restrictions that now block participation in Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO).

“The federal government can help make needed repairs and ensure the improved efficiency and reliability of the nation’s wholesale electricity markets by creating a clear framework for a more efficient electric industry,” said former Sen. J. Bennett Johnston, an advisor to the Alliance who helped write the last major piece of federal energy legislation, the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

The blueprint, entitled “Meeting Our Nation’s Needs for Adequate Supplies of Reliable and Reasonably Priced Electric Power,” graphically illustrates the growing disparity between the peak demand for electric power throughout the U.S. and the declining investment in new transmission lines, the group said.

“Without adequate transmission capacity to meet growing demand, reliability will be compromised, prices will increase, overall system efficiency will decline and the benefits of wholesale generation competition will not be realized,” Johnston said.

The blueprint urges Congress to:

To view a copy of the blueprint, visit the Alliance’s Web site at

Currently, Alliance members include Detroit Edison, GPU, Dominion, National Grid USA, Duke Energy, Public Service Company of New Mexico, Energy East, Public Service Electric and Gas, Entergy, Xcel Energy and Exelon Corp.

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