Federal Decision On Electricity Dispute Will Not Bring Answers To The Public, Says Menendez

Federal Decision On Electricity Dispute Will Not Bring Answers To The Public, Says Menendez

Market Monitor's allegations against transmission organization could possibly affect electricity prices

Washington - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today chose to send the dispute between PJM, the non-profit in charge of regulating wholesale electricity markets, and the states whose markets it regulates to a settlement conference, which is likely to be confidential. Electricity wholesaler PJM has been charged with undermining the work of its independent Market Monitor - an action that could potentially affect electricity prices for customers in New Jersey, 13 other states and the District of Columbia.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has been pushing FERC to hold full hearings on this matter in order to provide public answers as to the severity of the charges and whether or not electricity prices have been affected.

"At the heart of this matter is whether or not customers are paying fair prices for electricity, and because of that, we all deserve answers," said Menendez. "Why is FERC afraid to hold hearings publicly and reestablish confidence with the ratepayers? I disagree with the Commission's decision to resolve this behind closed doors, which effectively ensures that we will never know the facts of this dispute.

"I have requested hearings in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, on which I sit, regarding the proper role of Market Monitors to ensure that their work is well-defined and they are effective at their jobs. I will continue to work on this issue."

On Tuesday, Menendez for the second time requested full hearings on this matter from FERC (http://menendez.senate.gov/pdf/lettertoferc091807.pdf). His first request was in July (http://menendez.senate.gov/pdf/LettertoKelliheronPJMMMU7-10-07.pdf).

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