News Releases

(Washington, D.C) - Today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) formally found that market manipulation occurred during the 2001 West Coast energy crisis, something Senator Murray contended for two years.

Unfortunately, FERC indicated it was highly unlikely that Washington state ratepayers would be reimbursed for the harm caused by the market manipulation of Enron and its ilk.

Senator Murray issued the following statement:

"I am dismayed by FERC's action today, but unfortunately, not surprised. FERC continues to both misunderstand the Pacific Northwest and ignore its interests.

At the height of the 2001 energy crisis, when Enron and its ilk were manipulating the system, FERC was urging companies to enter into long-term contracts. Many utilities in the Pacific Northwest took this direction, and entered long-term contracts at highly inflated rates. For FERC to find manipulation, but ignore its impact on the Northwest is very disturbing.

This three-year long battle to get FERC to take action on the energy crisis of 2001 reinforces the fact that FERC is incapable of regulating the market and protecting rate-payers. It is absurd that FERC should seek to take authority away from state regulators through Standard Market Design and other proposals floating around Congress when the agency has already failed to protect Washington ratepayers."