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FERC Approval of El Paso Energy Acquisition Doesn’t Address Potential for Wall Street Abuse  

Statement of Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program 

Note: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) this week issued an order approving the acquisition of El Paso Electric by private shell company Infrastructure Investments Fund. Despite a months-long investigation by Public Citizen documenting extensive ties between IIF and JP Morgan Chase & Co., the commission’s order states it would “decline to address” the question of whether the IIF companies are affiliated with JP Morgan. The order leaves hundreds of thousands of El Paso Electric utility customers at risk of higher residential electricity rates and corporate abuse. 

FERC’s decision to stick its head in the sand about ties between IIF and JP Morgan Chase is asinine, as the affiliation goes directly to the question of whether the acquisition is in the public interest. Public Citizen will remind FERC in our rehearing request this month that it has a legal duty to determine whether JP Morgan is affiliated with IIF. Meanwhile, roughly half a million residential utility customers – many of whom are low-income – are at greater risk of potential price gouging by a Wall Street bank as a result of this order. It’s scandalous that FERC issued an order that openly admits it won’t address highly relevant facts on the record. This an extremely bad look for FERC.