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FERC releases 2023 Enforcement Report

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

FERC has released its 17th Annual Report on Enforcement, providing a comprehensive overview of the Office of Enforcement’s (OE) official activities over the past year that includes significant actions, strategic goals and guidance to the industry. The report also provides the public with more information regarding the office’s non-public activities.

As noted in the Report, OE’s enforcement priorities in FY2023 focused on five distinct areas: (1) fraud and market manipulation; (2) serious violations of the Reliability Standards; (3) anticompetitive conduct; (4) threats to the nation’s energy infrastructure and associated impacts on the environment and surrounding communities; and (5) conduct that threatens transparency in regulated markets.

In fiscal year 2023, OE:

  • Opened 19 new investigations and closed nine pending investigations without further action. Staff also negotiated 12 settlements approved by the Commission, nine of which resolved eight investigations for a total of US$33.4 million – US$11.7 million in civil penalties and US$21.7 million in disgorgement to those harmed by the misconduct. The remaining three settlements resolved one District Court litigation matter for US$4 million in disgorgement, one Order to Show Cause proceeding for a US$4.4 million civil penalty, and one US Court of Appeals matter for a US$10.75 million civil penalty.
  • Completed nine audits of public utility, natural gas, and oil companies, resulting in 68 findings of noncompliance and 332 recommendations for corrective action. They directed US$33 million in refunds and other recoveries.
  • Reviewed several instances of potential misconduct and provided analytical expertise to Investigations staff in approximately 60 investigations and 15 other matters. Natural gas surveillance screens produced approximately 24 000 alerts, resulting in 27 natural gas surveillance inquiries and three referrals for investigation. Electric surveillance screens produced approximately 566 933 screen trips, resulting in 43 electric surveillance inquiries and six referrals for investigation.
  • Conducted enhanced surveillance related to two disruptive weather events, Winter Storm Elliott and the Winter 2022/2023 Western Energy Price Spike. Both are continuing, but already have resulted in referrals to OE investigators.

“It is critically important that we have appropriate oversight of our energy markets to ensure that they continue to serve consumers who depend on reliable and affordable sources of energy,” FERC Chairman Willie Phillips said.

Enforcement priorities for 2023 continued to be focused on fraud and market manipulation, serious violations of the mandatory reliability standards, anticompetitive conduct, threats to the nation’s energy infrastructure and associated impacts on the environment and surrounding communities, and conduct that threatens the transparency of regulated markets.

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