For more than a century, the electric power industry has supplied the United States with abundant and reliable electricity. The industry that brought “smokeless light” to American cities in the late 1800s now supplies the power for more than 176 million personal computers and a national network of 208 million cellular phones, contributing to both industrial productivity and consumer comforts that enhance our standard of living.

The power industry now faces an unprecedented challenge. At a time of record high fuel prices, historic environmental challenges, and industry structural change, the nation’s demand for reliable electric power continues to grow. While much of the nation’s power infrastructure is aging, the industry must keep up with the need for more capacity, increased reliability and power quality, and lower environmental impacts. Thus, the industry must invest in a new generation of power plants, environmental controls, transmission lines, and distribution system expansions and upgrades.

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