Commissioner James Danly Statement
October 19, 2023
Docket No. RR23-3-000

Although I concur in today’s order,[1] I write separately to note that over the last few years NERC’s budget requests have grown significantly.  It is now time for the Commission to pause to reflect upon whether we are really getting value for the money we are spending to address known or emerging reliability risks.  I am not convinced that we are.  I am convinced, however, that we do need to see a significant improvement in the speed and agility with which NERC acts in response to those risks.

In an order issued concurrently today,[2] we direct NERC to develop new or modified mandatory and enforceable NERC Reliability Standards prior to 2030 in order to address a set of reliability risks that we have known about, and been actively discussing, since at least 2016, and about which I have long warned.  Up to nearly fourteen years is a very long time, and the reliable operation of the Bulk-Power System (BPS) remains imperiled until these risks are adequately addressed.  We are as responsible for this situation as NERC.

Today, we approve a total funding requirement for NERC for 2024 that represents a 12.5% increase over NERC’s 2023 total funding requirement.[3]  The 2024 NERC budget is 15.2% higher than its 2023 budget excluding E-ISAC costs.[4]  Last year, we approved a total funding requirement for NERC for 2023 that was a 13.7% increase over NERC’s 2022 total funding requirement.[5]  The 2023 NERC budget was 12.5% higher than its 2022 budget excluding E-ISAC costs.[6]  Those are some hefty raises in a fairly short period.

Will this increased funding actually help expedite the development and implementation of needed NERC Reliability Standards?  Based on NERC’s recent track record, I have my doubts.  Both NERC and the Commission need to be faster in responding to emergent threats to BPS reliability.

For these reasons, I respectfully concur.


[1] N. Am. Elec. Reliability Corp., 185 FERC ¶ 61,047 (2023).

[2] N. Am. Elec. Reliability Corp., 185 FERC ¶ 61,042 (2023).

[3] N. Am. Elec. Reliability Corp., 185 FERC ¶ 61,047, at P 13.

[4] Id.

[5] N. Am. Elec. Reliability Corp., 181 FERC ¶ 61,095, at P 15 (2022).

[6] Id.

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