FERC finds evidence of energy price manipulation in California

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Minnesota Public Radio – Marketplace AM Report

Transcript of Radio Segment:

KAI RYSSDAL, anchor: Federal energy regulators are out with a report on what looks a lot like manipulation of prices during that little energy crisis we had out here in California, oh, 18 or so months ago. Jason Lopez reports from San Francisco.

JASON LOPEZ reporting: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says it found evidence that suggests Enron and its affiliates, as well as Avista and El Paso Electric manipulated energy prices in California. Although FERC says it will punish the companies if it verifies wrongdoing, consumer advocates say they aren’t holding their breath.

Mr. DOUG HELLER (Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights): The question remains whether or not FERC will actually do something about this.

LOPEZ: Dave Heller is with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

Mr. HELLER: They can’t deny the facts, but what they do with them is what matters, so if this–this staff report is an aberration, well, that’s yet to be seen.

LOPEZ: FERC could force the companies to refund money to the state or to trade energy under the old regulated-rate system. In San Francisco, I’m Jason Lopez for MARKETPLACE.

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