Public Citizen Working to Defend the Federal Power Act
In 2005, Public Citizen, along with several state attorneys general and consumer advocacy organizations, launched a lawsuit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asserting that the agency lacks statutory authority to allow the market – that is, utilities themselves – to set rates without prior public notice and review of the rates by FERC as required by the Federal Power Act. In fact, Public Citizen maintains that FERC has illegally deregulated the electric rates under its jurisdiction, allowing power generators and Wall Street energy traders to set prices in an industry where true completion doesn’t exist, resulting in higher utility bills for ratepayers. Public Citizen calls on all rates to be “just and reasonable” and a return to cost-of-service rates.
In follow-up litigation, we have challenged FERC and the courts who have essentially ruled that the Federal Power Act’s consumer protections (requiring FERC to actually review every rate increase) shall take a back seat to whatever contract rights power plant owners and Wall Street traders have agreed.
Explore documents related to this case:
Initial Consumer Advocate Brief
FERC's Response Brief
Consumer Advocates Reply Brief