After FERC's Amaranth and Energy Trading Partners' orders to show cause proposing hundreds of millions of dollars in disgorged profits and penalties, the industry has been more focused than ever on FERC's investigative processes. In an order issued on December 20, 2007, FERC extended the due process protections of subjects of investigations in future electric and natural gas civil penalty cases. When the Office of Enforcement investigative staff completes its investigation, it now will send FERC a report with recommended findings and conclusions of law. Upon receipt, designated staff members will become non-decisional employees for purposes of participating in the rest of the enforcement proceeding. If warranted, FERC may attach the report to a show cause order to provide the subject(s) the opportunity to respond to the recommended findings. No findings will be made before FERC considers the response. These changes came as a result of FERC's enforcement policy conference held in November.
For More Information
Follow these links for additional reports on actions taken by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at its December 20, 2007 meeting: