What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Utility Industry : S. 14. Energy Policy/Vote to Expand the Power of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Regulating Energy Markets. (2003 senate Roll Call 313)
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S. 14. Energy Policy/Vote to Expand the Power of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Regulating Energy Markets.
senate Roll Call 313     Jul 30, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The energy crisis in California exposed numerous criminal activities by energy trading companies such as Enron. Among other things, those companies colluded to manipulate energy prices and reap windfall profits at the expense of consumers. In an effort to protect consumers against future market manipulations, Senator Bingaman (D-NM) introduced an amendment to the Bush Administration's energy plan which would have strengthened the regulatory powers of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review mergers and acquisitions by holding companies that own public utilities as well as energy transactions between and among those holding companies. In the view of Progressives, the federal government should play a more active role in preventing criminal or market-manipulating activities by private energy companies and they supported Bingaman's amendment for that reason. Senator Dominici (R-NM) motioned to table (kill) the Bingaman proposal and, with the help of a handful of Democrats, the motion was adopted 53-44 and Bingaman's amendment was defeated.

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