Democratic News

May 09 2002

Senate Energy Committee To Probe Price Manipulation In Western Power Markets

FERC Chairman Wood To Update on Investigation

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, May 15 to investigate price manipulation in Western energy markets during 2000-01, as revealed in documents released this week as part of an investigation being conducted by FERC. The hearing also will examine actions taken at that time to mitigate any market manipulation or failures; and further actions that should be taken to ensure that consumers are served by well functioning energy markets. The hearing will be at 2:30 p.m. in a Hart 216. FERC Chairman Pat Wood will be among the witnesses. "This committee called for the FERC investigation that resulted in the release of these documents, and I'm pleased that Chairman Wood will update us on that probe," said Chairman Jeff Bingaman. "The electricity provisions in the Senate-passed energy bill already tackle problems relating to market manipulation and transparency of trading data. This hearing may tell us if there are ways we can further strengthen the bill’s electricity title during conference." As the head conferee for Senate Democrats on energy legislation, it is possible that Bingaman may chair the House-Senate conference, depending on how it is organized. # # #