By Tyson Slocum
Today in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission docket EL23-50, we call on the Commission to initiate a Notice of Inquiry of Order 719 to address shortcomings in the governance of the world’s largest private energy market, PJM Interconnection LLC. The request comes in a proceeding launched by a complaint by PJM’s market monitor that it is denied access to Liaison Committee meetings, where PJM’s members meet quarterly with the board. We note that here is no justification for denying the public and other non-PJM members access to attend Liaison Committee meetings. Interactions between PJM members and the Board should be transparent, and efforts to cloak such meetings in secrecy are wrong. The Federal Power Act guarantees broad rights and protections to the public and does not allow for PJM’s narrow, discriminatory discretion to determine who is a rightful “stakeholder”. A Notice of Inquiry of Order 719 is long overdue and necessary to address PJM’s unjust and unreasonable barriers for public interest participation.
We also note that the Liaison Committee chair is held by a lobbyist for Exelon Corp. An Exelon Corp affiliate entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve criminal charges that the company engaged in an 8-year long effort to bribe public officials. Exelon Corp assumed all financial responsibility for paying the $200 million fine to the Department of Justice on behalf of its affiliate. It is more than bad optics for PJM to allow a representative of a company sanctioned for violations of federal criminal bribery laws to chair the Liaison Committee. Governance reforms under Order 719 should limit RTO stakeholder committee participation for any corporation or individual that has been convicted of a crime or is under the terms of a deferred prosecution agreement.
Read our full filing here: PJMimm