FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments
On September 21, 2011, FERC issued a Notice of Technical Conference to discuss “the impact of the Penalty Guidelines on compliance and enforcement matters.” It noted that “[m]ore information on the topics to be explored and the number and composition of the panels will be provided in subsequent notices.” The conference will be held on November 17, from 1:00 p.m.
On August 29, the Commission approved a $350,000 settlement between the Grand River Dam Authority, NERC, and FERC to settle allegations of Reliability Standard violations By the Grand River Dam Authority, an Oklahoma state agency.
At the NERC Board of Trustees meeting this week in Vancouver, Canada, NERC outlined a new initiative intended to reduce the administrative burden on Registered Entities associated with the processing of Reliability Standard violations.

Describing what it considers "a significant number of outages of generating facilities" along with disruptions in natural gas deliveries during the recent extreme cold weather across Texas and the Southwest, on February 14, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) directed the creation of a staff task force to conduct a broad inquiry into those events. Unlike the FERC-led investigation following the 2008 Florida Blackout, this investigation is not, at this time, intended to discover whether any regulations, requirements, or standards were violated. Instead, the investigation is intended to identify (1) the causes of the outages and disruptions and (2) the actions FERC might undertake to prevent a recurrence of these issues.

On October 28, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued an order approving a $2.7 million settlement relating to allegations that North America Power Partners (NAPP) engaged in fraudulent conduct in violation of the Commission’s prohibition against market manipulation and committed multiple violations of the PJM Interconnection, LLC’s (PJM) Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).
Ten years ago, “transparency” within the natural gas markets was largely an ignored concept.
On September 17, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) issued a Revised Policy Statement on Penalty Guidelines (Revised Policy Statement), 132 FERC ¶ 61,216 (2010), which addresses comments received concerning the Commission’s Policy Statement on Penalty Guidelines issued on March 18, 2010.
Earlier today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a stipulation and consent agreement with Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) that included a $25 million penalty to be paid By FPL to resolve potential violations of mandatory Reliability Standards related to the February 26, 2008 Florida Blackout.
On June 24, 2009, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) upheld central aspects of its prior decisions on Violation Severity Levels (VSLs) proposed By the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).