FERC allows Blumenthal to investigate power plants

Ashley Stinnett Aug. 30, 2009, 2:12pm

Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has said a federal agency is allowing his office to pursue an investigation into whether state power plants violated laws.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Blumenthal's request, which will allow the state's Office of Consumer Counsel and the Department of Public Utility Control to join in the investigation.

Blumenthal, a Democrat, alleges power plants manipulated the energy market by bidding to provide power they had no intention of delivering.

"This investigative hearing will deliver a stunning jolt of transparency and truth to the public about gross manipulation of our power markets that has cost consumers at least more than $50 million," Blumenthal said. "Power generators were paid on a promise to deliver -- but had no ability or intent to provide that power."

All three state agencies requested the investigation after learning that electric consumers paid more than $50 million to power generators that ultimately failed to deliver power, according to Blumenthal.

The state is also separately continuing to investigate allegations related to other anticompetitive practices.

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