Unsatisfied With Limited Initial Response, Menendez Reiterates Demand For Federal Hearings On Allegations Surrounding Major Electric Power Company

Unsatisfied With Limited Initial Response, Menendez Reiterates Demand For Federal Hearings On Allegations Surrounding Major Electric Power Company

Electricity wholesaler PJM, which supplies power to NJ, has been charged by its Market Monitor with undermining oversight that potentially could affect electricity prices

Washington - Following a limited response to his initial request for immediate hearings, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), is again demanding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) investigate charges against major electric power company PJM - charges that, if valid, could potentially impact electricity prices in New Jersey, 12 other states and the District of Columbia (http://menendez.senate.gov/pdf/lettertoferc091807.pdf).

Menendez, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in July initially demanded a full federal hearing on allegations that PJM undermining the work of its internal Market Monitor, who has the responsibility of ensuring a competitive wholesale electricity market (http://menendez.senate.gov/pdf/LettertoKelliheronPJMMMU7-10-07.pdf).

Chairman Joseph Kelliher responded earlier this month with a letter that did not fully address the Senator's request (http://menendez.senate.gov/pdf/letterfromFERC090507.pdf). Since Menendez's July letter, PJM has filed an Offer of Settlement to FERC in which it suggests the creation of an external Market Monitor and that FERC not investigate the current Monitor's allegations.

"If the allegations against this corporation are true, it could potentially mean that we are paying more on electricity bills than is fair," said Menendez. "That makes this a serious issue for millions of people, and it deserves a serious inquiry. PJM's desire to avoid the accountability of thorough hearings is highly worrisome. Instead of agreeing to a bad settlement, the government should be demanding information."

PJM manages wholesale electricity over an area with a population of 51 million. Its Market Monitor has claimed that the company has stripped him of resources, denied him data, censored his reports and transferred some duties to other parts of the company.

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