June Virtual Press Briefing: The Deepening Electricity Supply Crisis

The warnings have been issued. The numbers are in. There is trouble ahead for the U.S. electricity supply system, and the fixes may take years.

Willie Phillips, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said, “Our country is facing an unprecedented surge in demand for affordable electricity while confronting extreme weather threats to the reliability of our grid, and trying to stay one step ahead of massive technological changes we are seeing in our society.”

Jim Robb, president and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, discussing findings of a December 2023 NERC report, said in a television interview this week, “We are in what I call a hyper-complex risk environment. It was challenging before — just with the transition of the resource mix away from a fossil-fuel-intensive industry to one that is more powered by renewable energy, wind and solar — and is more so.
“It is challenged by the extreme weather, which we have been experiencing over the past 10 to 15 years, which shows no sign of abating.

“It is challenged by a risk environment associated with security, whether that is domestic, violent extremists or nation-state adversaries and their cyber capabilities.”

Robb continued, “What was new last year was the growth outlook. For the longest period of time the electric industry in North America hasn’t really grown because we’ve been so good at implementing energy efficiency measures to keep peak load growth very, very modest.

“But that’s changing. It’s changing because of re-industrialization of the economy, our use of technology in all the things we hold dear — Facebook, ChatGPT, all of those things are embedding AI into their algorithms, and AI is a very energy intensive user of information technology.”

Similarly Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, has often spoken about rising demand in the face of limited growth in generation and limited transmission of the power that is available, mostly from renewables in the West.

NERC and others believe we may get through this summer with minor disruptions. But the situation gets more serious this winter — and may remain serious for a long time as trends accelerate.

Journalist Llewellyn King has organized and will moderate the briefing. Mark Menezes, president and CEO of the USEA, will be on hand to lend his expertise as appropriate.


  • Jim Robb, President, North American Electric Reliability Corporation
  • Christopher Wellise, Vice President for Sustainability, Equinix
  • Daniel Brooks, Corporate Vice President of Integrated Grid and Energy Systems, Electric Power Research Institute
  • Dan Brouillette, President & CEO, Edison Electric Institute
  • Todd Snitchler, President & CEO, Electric Power Supply Association
  • David Schleicher, President, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative
  • David Naylor, President, Rayburn Electric Cooperative


  • Jennifer Hiller The Wall Street Journal
  • Ken Silverstein, Forbes
  • Evan Halper, The Washington Post
  • Peter Behr, E&E News
  • Matt Chester, Energy Central
  • Adam Clayton Powell III, PBS


Llewellyn King

Creator, Executive Producer & Host
White House Chronicle

David Naylor

Rayburn Country Electric Co-Op

Daniel Brooks

Vice President, Integrated Grid and Energy Systems

Jennifer Hiller

The Wall Street Journal

Ken Silverstein

Senior Contributor

Peter Behr

E&E News

Matt Chester

Energy Central

Jim Robb

President and CEO

Dan Brouillette

President & CEO
Edison Electric Institute

Evan Halper

Energy Reporter
Washington Post

Todd Snitchler

President and CEO
Electric Power Supply Association

Christopher Wellise

Vice President for Sustainability

David Schleicher

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative