For more than six months, I have called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to fulfill its responsibility to ensure that energy producers were charging "just and reasonable" electric rates. Today they finally responded.

I called on FERC to impose a temporary price cap, which would exempt any new production facilities under construction, to bring some stability to the marketplace.

In Washington state, jobs have been lost, electric bills have skyrocketed, and entire industries have been idled because of the energy crisis.

I applaud FERC for finally recognizing that we are in crisis, and for heeding the calls for a temporary price cap. I only regret they did not act sooner.

At a time when energy companies are realizing record profits and have been found to manipulate supply to drive up prices, average citizens have been footing the bill. I hope that FERC will remain vigilant and ensure that electric rates are "just and reasonable."

On behalf of the paper worker who lost his job, the aluminum workers who will be out of work, and the grandmother on a fixed income who has seen her electric bill increase by 50 percent, we must continue to do all we can to mitigate prices and make sure FERC is doing its job.