Dear Secretary Bose:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (“the Chamber”) appreciates the opportunity to respond to the White Paper jointly prepared by the staffs from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) as the Commission reviews a proposed new format for NERC Notices of Penalty involving violations of Critical Infrastructure Protection (“CIP”) Reliability Standards (the “White Paper”).1
Maintaining a cyber-secure environment for our nation’s electric grid should remain a top priority of NERC, FERC, and the electric utility industry as a whole. The development and enforcement of mandatory CIP standards is a cornerstone of that effort and as such, great care should be taken to ensure that those standards – and the environment within which they operate – is maximally conducive to ensuring compliance with those standards and the maintenance of a cyber-secure electric grid. Any effort that has the potential to compromise the effectiveness of the CIP standards, and the enforcement regime thereof, should be subject to heightened scrutiny from both the industry and the Commission.