House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 01:52 PM
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^ ^ ^

Sadly, this is a 6 year old article...still a problem, it appears.

Maria Cantwell - U.S. Senator from Washington State
WASHINGTON, DC- Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today introduced legislation with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) that closes a regulatory loophole allowing Enron to operate a completely unregulated energy trading business online.

"This bill closes a regulatory loophole created by Congress that Enron used as it turned political influence into profit at the expense of consumers," Cantwell said. "Most importantly, it would make patterns of irregular energy trading abundantly clear."

The loophole was created in 1993 when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) exempted bilateral energy futures transactions from its regulatory authority. In 2000, at the urging of Enron's Ken Lay, Congress passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act which codified the exemption and extended it to electronic facilities.

Yesterday afternoon, at Cantwell's request, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) launched a formal investigation into allegations that Enron itself manipulated energy prices through its use of the regulatory loophole, unfairly driving up the value of long-term contracts.

It is not widely known that Enron continues to hold long-term contracts with utilities throughout the nation - many of which are far above market value. For example, the Bonneville Power Administration holds contracts with Enron that are $350 million above current market value.

"Contracts like this have translated into unacceptably high utility bills for ratepayers throughout the West, who deserve relief as soon as possible," Cantwell said.
If FERC finds that market manipulation by Enron occurred, it can void contracts with rates that it finds unjust and unreasonable.

Cantwell's legislation would give the CFTC regulatory authority over energy trading platforms such as EnronOnline. It would also require these platforms to open their books to regulators - lifting a veil of secrecy that has surrounded EnronOnline and its competitors.

"Until we require open books and transparency from EnronOnline and businesses like it, the public will not be protected from those who attempt to manipulate markets and gouge consumers," Cantwell said.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 06:27 PM
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We need to expand our own drilling and production of oil to tide us through the transition to alternate fuels. Unfortunately, the folks who are screaming the most about high gas prices are those standing in the way of us using ANWAR, the Gulf and Colorado oil shale, which by today's report contains enough oil to equal the proven Saudi reserves.
The Dem controlled subcommittee just put their approval to block oil shale leasing for another six months.
What idiots.

Trial lawyers to the rescue. You got to be kidding me.

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--Hillary Rodham Clinton
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