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Asleep at the Switch: Ferc's Oversight of the Enron Corporation: Hearing Before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session, November 12, 2002

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Asleep at the Switch: Ferc's Oversight of the Enron Corporation: Hearing Before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session, November 12, 2002

by United States Congress Senate

About this title: Original publisher: Washington: U.S. G.P.O.: For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O. [Congressional Sales Office], 2003. LC Number: KF26 .G67 2002zb OCLC Number: (OCoLC)52522618 Excerpt: ... 3 even that critical step completed, FERC and the rest of the Federal Government could not begin to develop any long-term public policy strategy about how to keep these emerging market tools fair and efficient. Third, FERC reacted belatedly to many serious offenses, letting possible market abuses go uncorrected and unchallenged for many months. Too often, in place of effective oversight, the agency offered timid hindsight. For instance, in November 2000, a FERC staff in-vestigation into the causes of the California energy crisis concluded that power sellers had the potential to manipulate the power mar-ket. I'm tempted to add to my prepared statement what my teen-age daughter would say here, duh, right? After coming to that obvious conclusion, which cried out for im-mediate follow-up, FERC took over a year to launch an investiga-tion into the market behavior of individual companies during the California energy crisis, and that was only after Enron actually col-lapsed in early December of last year. Energy consumers on the West Coast should have had the Federal Government on their side during the energy crisis in 2000, not 6 months or a year later. And the companies who may have tried to manipulate the mar-ket, or, in fact, any who may be thinking about doing it in the fu-ture, need to understand that FERC will be a sophisticated and sharp watchdog, not a listless and lackadaisical bystander. Of course, this is made all the more clear and compelling by the recent plea of guilty by the head of trading for the Western mar-kets for Enron in regard to - and we'll get into this in further de-tail - in regard to manipulation of the markets that he, as a signifi-cant employee of Enron's, was involved in. Remember, FERC is the regulatory agency that led the move-ment toward w...

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