The electricity sector across North America is currently experiencing a wave of unprecedented and rapid change.
The opening of electricity markets to competition is underway or being considered in Canada, Mexico and the United States, and cross-border trade in electricity is growing, bolstered in part by the long-term stability conferred by NAFTA's trade and investment rules.
As these changes take place, many important questions are being asked about the emerging North American electricity market. One question-the focus of this Article 13 Report-encapsulates a key public policy challenge facing today's decision-makers:
How can we ensure that North Americans have an affordable and abundant supply of electricity without compromising environmental and health objectives?
Clearly, electricity is vital for the North American economy and is a prerequisite for economic stability and long-term prosperity.
Just as clearly, however, some forms of production, transmission and use of electricity may have significant negative impacts on human health and the ecological systems that sustain life, both of which are valued highly by North Americans.