What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Utility Industry : H.R. 6. Energy Plan/Vote to Expand the Authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to Combat Corporate Fraud and Market Manipulation By Energy Producers. (2003 house Roll Call 133)
 Who: All Members
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H.R. 6. Energy Plan/Vote to Expand the Authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to Combat Corporate Fraud and Market Manipulation By Energy Producers.
house Roll Call 133     Apr 10, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Outlining a national energy policy has been on the congressional agenda for several years. In 2001, energy legislation passed both chambers of Congress but was ultimately defeated in a conference committee between the House and Senate. Energy legislation that is similar to what was proposed in 2001 was again debated by each chamber of Congress. The main difference between the 2001 and 2003 policies considered in the House was the addition of a controversial section on electricity deregulation which would preserve state authority to regulate retail electricity systems. In the wake of Enron's collapse, electricity deregulation has become a controversial issue for lawmakers because evidence suggests that the former energy-giant illegally took advantage of deregulated energy-markets in 2001 by purchasing available energy stocks and then restricting the supply of electricity to drive up energy costs for consumers in Western states like California. In an effort reach a compromise on the issue, Congressman Dingell (D-MI) proposed an amendment that would have replaced the deregulation provision with language to expand the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) anti-fraud powers, require reports on sales and transmissions of electricity and gas, and authorize FERC to refund electricity overcharges retroactively. Progressives supported the Dingell amendment as a way to protect consumers against market manipulations by corporations such as Enron. Dingell's amendment was defeated by a 193-237 margin.

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