Washington - Today PJM, the non-profit in charge of regulating wholesale electricity markets in those states, and its Market Monitor announced a settlement in a dispute that began when the Market Monitor alleged that the company was obstructing his work. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who has been actively engaged in pressing the federal government to ensure a sensible resolution, said that the settlement meets his standards for a strong Market Monitor with the responsibility of ensuring a competitive wholesale electricity market in New Jersey,12 other states and the District of Columbia.

"This settlement ensures that New Jersey rate payers are treated fairly. The Market Monitor acts as the cop on the beat making sure utilities and generators are not charging us too much," said Senator Menendez. "I had urged PJM and FERC to give the Market Monitor timely and unfettered access to information, that the Market Monitor have the staff and resources he or she needs, and, in order to preserve his or her independence, have the ability to report to a board outside of the PJM hierarchy, a board which represents all stakeholders. These requirements have been met, and therefore this is a victory for consumers."

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities joined Senator Menendez in praising the settlement.

"Senator Menendez's close oversight of this issue has been truly helpful in bringing us to today's result," said Jeanne M. Fox, President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. "Over the past several months, he has raised tough questions on this and other FERC-related issues."

"The settlement filed at FERC today in the market monitoring case will help efforts to have truly independent monitoring of the wholesale electricity markets in the PJM region," said Frederick F. Butler, Commissioner, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and a member of the negotiating team. "Protecting the independence of PJM's own market monitor is essential if there is to be confidence in the wholesale markets; in addition, the settlement includes important provisions that make it possible for state commissions to obtain confidential data that can be used to verify the results of the market monitoring unit."

Senator Menendez has taken a number of actions to ensure that FERC handles the dispute appropriately, including requesting full hearings (http://menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=278477).