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JP Morgan energy practices scrutinized

While everyone was paying attention to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s huge losses caused by botched trading in its London office, Public Citizen was tryingTyson Slocum get the authorities to focus on its subsidiary, J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corp., which appeared to be immersed in a far more serious practice, potentially illegal manipulation of markets for electric power. The regulators are finally doing that.

The announcement today by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that it is investigating whether the unit complied with FERC’s requests for operational information is welcome news indeed. FERC is questioning whether the subsidiary submitted misleading information or omitted material facts in its communications with the commission, the California Independent System Operator and the operator’s market monitoring department.

The last thing energy consumers need is another Enron. We’re glad to see FERC on the case.

Tyson Slocum is Public Citizen’s Energy Program director. Follow him on Twitter @TysonSlocum.