Washington, D.C., office managing partner Todd Mullins, who chairs the firm’s energy enforcement practice, commented in a Feb. 20 Risk.net article about the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) anti-manipulation or “gaming” standards in the power and gas industry.
In a November 2016 report, FERC issued guidance on fraud and market manipulation that could significantly broaden the scope of prosecutable actions by energy industry players. Mullins commented that many industry observers believe FERC is “pushing the envelope in terms of whether or not what they are talking about is actually, legally, fraudulent.”
He also addressed how the courts may influence what is considered to be market manipulation through ongoing litigation. “If the courts go in a certain direction in terms of deciding these cases more than FERC, then it would be logical for FERC to re-evaluate the process it follows before it gets to court. That may mean the overall process at FERC is shorter or somewhat less involved.”