How FERC's Proposed Penalties May Violate 8th Amendment

Law360, New York (January 23, 2013, 1:23 PM EST) -- In the past year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued orders directing five companies to show cause as to why they should not be sanctioned for allegedly manipulating energy markets. In each case, FERC's Office of Enforcement has been seeking not only the disgorgement of the profits realized by the five companies from the allegedly manipulative schemes but also the imposition of substantial civil penalties ranging from $1.5 million to $435 million.

Given the monetary stakes, it is not surprising that the respondents in the show-cause proceedings are aggressively contesting the allegations of market manipulation. However, it is somewhat surprising...

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