FERC Issues Order Assessing Civil Penalties Against ETRACOM

On Friday, June 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) issued an Order Assessing Civil Penalties against ETRACOM LLC (“ETRACOM”) and ETRACOM’s founding member and majority owner, Michael Rosenberg (together, “Respondents”). The Commission held that the Respondents violated section 222 of the Federal Power Act and section 1c.2 of the Commission’s regulations (the “Anti-Manipulation Rule”). Specifically, the Commission found that between May 14, 2011 and May 31, 2011 (the “Manipulation Period”), ETRACOM and Rosenberg engaged in a “cross-commodity” scheme in which they submitted virtual supply offers at the New Melones intertie at the border of the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) wholesale electric market with the intent to lower power prices artificially at New Melones in order to increase the value of ETRACOM’s Congestion Revenue Rights (“CRRs”) positions that settled based upon power prices at that location. Respondents offered two primary defenses to Staff’s allegations, each of which the Commission rejected: (1) that CAISO was not a well-functioning market and (2) that ETRACOM based its trading activity on market fundamentals.  read more

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