In an emergency motion filed at FERC last week, eight powermarketers serving California asked the Commission to bar theCal-ISO and Cal-PX from disclosing confidential information abouttheir companies and/or practices – absent adequate safeguards – tostate agencies investigating the out-of-control electricity marketin the state.

The power marketers want FERC to immediately issue a “uniformstandard” that would give the disclosures by the Cal-ISO and Cal-PXthe “same confidentiality protections” as those provided underFERC-approved tariffs and the Commission’s Model Protective Order.Absent a swift response to their request, they urged the Commissionto stay the release of such information in California while theiremergency motion is under review.

The marketers said quick action was needed because the Cal-ISOplanned to begin releasing proprietary information about certaincompanies last week to the California Public Utilities Commission(CPUC) and the California Electricity Oversight Board (EOB). Atpress time Friday, the Commission had not responded to themarketers’ emergency request [EC96-19, ER96-1663].

Given the “unsettled conditions” in the Golden State bulk powermarkets, the CPUC, EOB, the state attorney general’s office andBureau of Audit have initiated a series of investigations, andeither have served or plan to serve subpoenas or data requests onthe Cal-ISO and Cal-PX. These requests seek bidding, pricing andoutage data, and other sensitive proprietary information aboutcompanies that are participating in California market, according tothe marketers.

But “no state agency has, as yet, offered substantial assurancesthat confidentiality will be preserved…on a substantially similarbasis” to that offered by FERC in its Model Protective Order. Suchan order limits disclosure of confidential information only tothose persons with a “need to know.”

The power marketers said they didn’t object to the Cal-ISO andCal-PX releasing information to the state agencies if adequateconfidentiality safeguards are assured. Nor, they emphasized, werethey trying to delay any of the investigations.

The marketers seeking the emergency motion included Duke EnergyNorth America LLC, Duke Energy Trading and Marketing LLC, DynegyPower Marketing Inc., Reliant Energy Power Generation Inc., ReliantEnergy Services Inc., Southern Energy Inc., Williams EnergyMarketing & Trading Co., and AES Corp. and its affiliates.

Susan Parker

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