Statement by EPSA President Lynne H. Church on FERC’s probe into energy market

March 28, 2003 — Lynne Church, the president of the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA), released a statement immediately following rulings by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on its Western energy market manipulation investigations.

“Today’s rulings by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are unfortunate and may have serious effects on the stability of electricity supplies throughout the United States.

“EPSA and its members had hoped that following today’s meeting, the industry and this issue would be at the bottom of the ninth inning, but unfortunately we’re only at the seventh-inning stretch – and uncertainty continues in the energy sector.

“FERC’s failure to bring to closure the California energy crisis and continued search to assign blame have diminished the incentive for would-be suppliers to invest in generation or transmission in areas where needed, including California.

“The rulings also extend the regulatory uncertainty that is exacerbating the financial plight of the industry.

“For example, by continuing the California refund cases, FERC reinforces the signal that prices will be changed after the fact when they produce a politically undesirable result.

“Uncertainty in the industry is also created by continuing the investigation of a large number of energy suppliers; FERC itself is perpetuating a process that has extracted a heavy toll on the industry and consumers.

“While we applaud the statements by Chairman Pat Wood and Commissioner Nora Brownell that they don’t believe the case has been made to invalidate the contracts, the agency’s failure to rule on the contract sanctity cases in California and the Northwest leaves investors and the industry in doubt.

“We recognize FERC has a very important market oversight role. Moreover, EPSA has always opposed the gaming of energy markets – practices that manipulate customer prices, create unfair advantages for specific market participants, or threaten the reliability of the electricity grid. But energy is too important to our nation for FERC not to have concluded its reviews.”

Source: EPSA
EPSA is the national trade association representing competitive power suppliers, including independent power producers, merchant generators and power marketers. These suppliers, who account for more than a third of the nation’s installed generating capacity, provide reliable and competitively priced electricity from environmentally responsible facilities serving global power markets. EPSA seeks to bring the benefits of competition to all power customers.

EPSA is the national trade association representing competitive power suppliers, including independent power producers, merchant generators and power marketers. These suppliers, who account for more than a third of the nation’s installed generating capacity, provide reliable and competitively priced electricity from environmentally responsible facilities serving global power markets. EPSA seeks to bring the benefits of competition to all power customers.

More information: www.epsa.org


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