On July 18, 2014, United States Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) sent a letter to the Department of Energy’s Inspector General requesting a review of FERC’s Office of Enforcement’s practices with regard to investigations of alleged manipulation in energy markets.  Senator Casey requested that such a review take place in order to ensure that FERC’s Office of Enforcement was fairly conducting its investigations and that all enforcement actions were transparent.

Specifically, Senator Casey’s letter seeks review of the following questions:

  • Is FERC fully complying with its statutory mandates to fairly investigate alleged market manipulation?
  • Has FERC put in place proper controls to promote timely, effective and efficient market oversight?
  • Does FERC have in place performance measures and controls to provide reasonable assurance that it fully complies with and meets its obligations under the applicable statutes to investigate alleged market manipulation?  Do these performance measures result in or encourage unnecessarily prolonged investigations?
  • Has FERC violated its requirements for confidentiality of non-public investigations?
  • Is FERC properly allocating its limited resources to investigation of cases that have the most deleterious effects on energy markets?
  • Does FERC have appropriate authority to investigate instances of alleged market manipulation that may not be expressly or impliedly prohibited at the time they occurred?
  • Has FERC pursued enforcement actions against entities that were not actions in violation of then-current applicable laws and regulations?

A copy of the letter is available here.