David Applebaum Quoted by Platts on FERC’s Role in Trump Administration

David Applebaum, a partner in the energy regulation, markets and enforcement practice at Akin Gump, has been quoted in the Platts article “FERC’s policing of markets won’t see big changes under Trump, officials say,” regarding what to expect from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during the new Trump administration.

Applebaum said, “in terms of outright fraud, lying, cheating, misrepresenting and those kinds of things as well as related position cases where you’re moving physical prices to affect, say, a derivative,” he does not see a big likelihood of major changes. Enforcement, he added, “is going to continue to bring those cases, and I don't see a reason to think that the new commission is going to look differently on those cases.”

Having spent six years in FERC’s Office of Enforcement as deputy director and then director of the Division of Investigations, Applebaum cautioned that there could be some shifts in thinking with regard to gaming-related cases “that FERC has been investigating and bringing in the electric markets.” Those cases, he noted, “are sometimes harder to define, and the law is not as clear on that.”

Applebaum thinks litigation could take up much of FERC’s resources in the coming year. While the commission tries to settle cases when it can, he added, “the manipulation cases are hard to settle, the penalties are often very significant, the reputational damage is significant, and industry does push back on those.”