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Penalty Predictability

Bringing fairness to FERC enforcement.

Fortnightly Magazine - July 2010

also retains “…some discretion because the Penalty Guidelines produce a penalty range, rather than an absolute figure…”), 58, 60-64.

4. Id., P 20. The Sentencing Commission ( www.ussc.gov) is an independent agency created in 1984 in the U.S. judicial branch that establishes federal court sentencing policies and practices, including guidelines on the appropriate form and severity of punishment for offenders convicted of federal crimes. The Sentencing Commission created a new sentencing guidelines chapter related to organizations in 1991. Id., PP 21-23.

5. 15 U.S.C. § 717t-1(a); 15 U.S.C. § 3414(b)(6)(A); 16 U.S.C. § 825-o-1(b); Policy Statement, P 5; J. Michel Marcoux, Day of Decision for FERC, 143 Pub. Utils. Fort., No. 12, 55, 58 (Dec. 2005)(“Stiff New Penalties” chart). The EPAct 2005 increased criminal penalties (fines, prison terms) for NGA, NGPA, and FPA violations, id.; see also Marcoux, Canaries in the Coal Mine: Facts From Securities Fraud Private Civil Actions Can Identify Intent To Manipulate Energy Markets, 29 Energy L.J. 141, 144 (2008).

6. Id., ch. § 2B1.1(b)(2): 70,000 MMBtus or 10,000 MWh (increase 2 levels); 140,000 MMBtus or 20,000 MWh (increase 4 levels); 700,000 MMBtus or 100,000 MWh (increase 6 levels).

7. Ted P. Gerarden, Branch Chief, Div. of Investigations, Off. of Enforcement, Remarks at Bruder, Gentile & Marcoux, L.L.P.’s 16th Annual FERC Briefing, Wash., D.C. (May 6, 2010).

8. Policy Statement, PP 42, 57.

9. Id., P 48; Compliance with Statutes, Regulations, and Orders , 125 FERC ¶ 61,058 PP 13-21 (2008).

10. Policy Statement, P 49.

11. Larry R. Parkinson, Director, Div. of Investigations, Off. of Enforcement, Remarks at Energy Bar Ass’n. Nat. Gas Reg. & Compliance & Enforcement Comms. Seminar & Teleconference “Current Enforcement Perspectives,” Wash., D.C. (May 17, 2010).

12. Thomas R. Sheets, General Counsel, FERC, Remarks at Bruder, Gentile & Marcoux, L.L.P.’s 16th Annual FERC Briefing, Wash., D.C. (May 6, 2010).

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