Prevent problems, or wait and respond when something happens?
Bruce Radford is publisher and acting editor of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whenever I sit down to write about electric reliability, my thoughts always race back to the time, more than a dozen years ago now, that I inadvertently interfered with the workings of NERC, then known as the North American Electric Reliability Council, on a day of dire emergency that would test the resiliency of both the electric industry and our country.
It all started in the summer of 2001, when then, as now, I was toiling away as editor of Public Utilities Fortnightly.
In my Frontlines column on page 6, in our issue of July 15, 2001 (we published twice a month back then), I had run a graphic of an impossibly convoluted organizational flow chart that had illustrated a ten-step process that NERC had designed for proposing, reviewing, and adopting new reliability standards. My aim was to show how deeply that NERC was hopelessly ensnared in bureaucratic procedures.
And I succeeded, after a fashion.