Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has called on FERC to initiate a new investigation into allegations that generators manipulated California power prices in the wake of a new General Accounting Office (GAO) report, which found the Commission’s initial probe to be faulty.

The GAO report, which was issued in late June, “effectively overturns the conclusion made by FERC in February that generating companies were not gaming the system in California,” she said. It “puts allegations of price gouging front and center.”

The GAO report concluded that FERC’s Feb. 1 study of power generation plant outages was “not thorough enough” to support its finding that audited companies were not physically withholding power supply to drive up prices in the state (See NGI, July 2). The evaluation by the GAO was undertaken at the request of Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

Feinstein also urged the Senate Government Affairs Committee to hold a hearing into the price-manipulation allegations. Inslee and DeFazio have asked for similar hearings on the House side.

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