Statement of Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo on the Southwest Power Pool Final Order and the Amended RTO-ISO Order
October 18, 2016
I support this commonsense decision that it is not in the public interest to allow private lawsuits against electric utilities trading in wholesale energy markets.
Two months ago, I visited a construction site for a state-of-the-art electric power plant in my home state of New Jersey. The facility was being built to withstand future weather events like Superstorm Sandy. The power it will produce will serve millions of local residents.
Without today’s practical decision, power utilities across the country may have hesitated or delayed building such new power plants because of the regulatory uncertainty and costs associated with private litigation—costs that surely would be passed on to millions of ratepayers throughout the country.
As I have observed, preserving the Section 22 private right of action is not necessary in these heavily regulated markets.1 Both the CFTC and the FERC have the authority to seek redress for the claims of private persons who raise meritorious allegations of fraud or manipulation.
I am heartened that the Commission now agrees and has concluded, with today’s action, that allowing private lawsuits is not in the public interest.
It is just commonsense.
1 See Notice of Proposed Amendment to and Request for Comment on the Final Order in Response to a Petition From Certain Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations To Exempt Specified Transactions Authorized by a Tariff or Protocol Approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Public Utility Commission of Texas From Certain Provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act Pursuant to the Authority Provided in the Act, 81 FR 30245, 30254-55 (May 16, 2016) (Statement of Dissent by Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo); J. Christopher Giancarlo, Op-Ed, Unneeded mandate would hurt N.J. consumers, The Record, Aug. 18, 2016, available at http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-guest-writers/unneeded-mandate-would-hurt-n-j-consumers-1.1647129.
Last Updated: December 20, 2017