Watching Government: Oversight spotlight

Ongoing worries by Wall Street and the public over corporate misconduct within and outside the energy business have led lawmakers to reexamine the role federal regulators play in keeping markets competitive. The General Accounting Office, an independent investigative arm of Congress, said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission needs to rethink the way it monitors the nation's natural gas and electric businesses, which have shifted from highly regulated monopolies to competitive energy markets.In a June 14 analysis, GAO suggested FERC is struggling to be relevant, although it noted that the agency's problems are not all self-inflicted. FERC is forced to rely on antiquated laws th...

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