Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) re-introduced bicameral legislation to protect consumers from energy market manipulation. The Energy Consumer Protection Act would provide the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with additional authority to go after traders that repeatedly manipulate electricity and natural gas markets. Companion legislation is being introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.-09), Don Beyer (D-Va.-08), and Sean Casten (D-Ill.-06).
“I’m working to hold bad actors across the energy sector accountable for manipulating markets and hiking up prices for consumers,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “My bill gives FERC the tools it needs to go after market manipulators and help bring down costs for businesses and families in Nevada.”
“This legislation will add a key consumer protection arrow to FERC’s quiver by blocking market manipulators from repeating their crimes and harming energy consumers,” said Senator Cantwell. “The burden of today’s elevated energy prices makes the quick passage of this bill more important than ever.”
“As we head into summer, we must ensure that energy prices remain affordable. For far too long, energy companies have taken advantage of consumers – manipulating prices and deceiving regulators,” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. “That is why I am proud to reintroduce the Energy Consumer Protection Act with my colleagues to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the tools it needs to hold energy companies accountable and protect consumers from market manipulation and corporate greed.”
“At a time when American families are struggling with energy costs, we can’t afford market manipulators that make those concerns worse,” said Congressman Don Beyer. “Our bill, the Energy Consumer Protection Act, would provide FERC with the ability to address those concerns. I want to thank my colleague Rep. Schakowsky for her leadership on this issue.”
“We must do everything we can to ease the burdens American’s have already suffered due to climate change,” said Congressman Sean Casten. “Our bill, the Energy Consumer Protection Act, will help bring down energy costs for families across the country by giving FERC the additional authorities it needs to prevent market manipulation.”
While current law bans market manipulation and false or misleading representations, FERC’s enforcement mechanisms aren’t strong enough to deter traders from repeatedly violating the law. The Energy Consumer Protection Act would give FERC additional tools to enforce existing law by allowing them to ban companies from trading in energy markets if they manipulate the electricity or natural gas markets or file false market information. This legislation is endorsed by Industrial Energy Consumers of America.
Senator Cortez Masto has led efforts in the Senate to lower costs for Nevadans and protect consumers. She has called out Big Oil and gas companies for price gouging and using their record profits to reward shareholders, and passed landmark legislation to lower prescription drug costs for seniors. She’s pushed critical legislation to alleviate supply chain bottlenecks and called on the IRS to help lower costs for Nevadans who use their cars for business and medical purposes. She has urged the Biden Administration to develop a long-term, government-wide strategy to lower gas prices and pushed the Administration to help Americans struggling with the high costs of heating and cooling their homes. In addition, she has been a champion for renewable energy and clean transportation development that will help lower energy prices for Nevadans.