Hoecker Talks to Trade Groups About 'Price Manipulation'

FERC Chairman James J. Hoecker held a teleconference last Thursday with officials from three trade associations representing interstate pipelines, major producers and independent producers to discuss spiraling natural gas prices.

He voiced concerns about "potential price manipulation" in the gas market, and he wanted to know whether companies were "engaging in unnecessary profits," an informed source told NGI. Hoecker indicated the Commission plans to do either a study or report on "who's making the money during the California crisis" in both the gas and electricity markets, he said.

Participating in the three-way teleconference were representatives from the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the Natural Gas Supply Association and the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

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