News Release: November 20, 2014
FERC Issues Annual Enforcement Report
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Enforcement continued to focus on fraud and market manipulation, serious violations of mandatory Reliability Standards, and conduct that threatens the transparency of regulated markets in fiscal year 2014, according to the latest Report on Enforcement prepared by the Office of Enforcement’s four divisions: Investigations, Audits, Energy Market Oversight, and Analytics and Surveillance.
The report provides additional transparency and guidance for regulated entities and the public, and is available at www.ferc.gov.
Some highlights of today’s Enforcement report:
- Investigations staff opened 17 new investigations and brought 15 pending investigations to closure with no action or settlement. Staff obtained settlements resulting in almost $25 million in civil penalties and disgorgement of $4 million in unjust profits. All settlements included provisions requiring the subjects to enhance compliance programs and periodically report back to Enforcement regarding the results of those enhancements.
- Audits and Accounting staff reviewed the conduct of regulated entities through 19 financial and operational audits of public utilities and natural gas pipelines, resulting in 162 recommendations for corrective action and refunds and recoveries totaling more than $11.7 million.
- Market Oversight staff continued to analyze market fundamentals, including significant trends and developments, market structure and operations to identify market anomalies, flawed market rules and potentially improper behavior by market participants. Market Oversight also presented its annual State of the Markets report, assessing significant events of the previous year. Market Oversight also continued ensuring compliance with various Commission forms and reports.
- Analytics and Surveillance staff reviewed instances of potential misconduct and referred matters to Investigations staff. The Commission also continued to enhance its ability to conduct surveillance of the natural gas and electric markets and to analyze individual market participant behavior by working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s to receive that agency’s large trader report data. Finally, Analytics and Surveillance staff led an extensive review of the Polar Vortex events that occurred in January and February 2014 to determine whether potentially manipulative trading behavior contributed to high natural gas prices and elevated electricity costs.
In fiscal year 2015, Enforcement will continue to target fraud and manipulation, serious violations of mandatory Reliability Standards, anticompetitive conduct, and conduct that threatens the transparency of regulated markets.