FTC To Host Public Conference on Energy Markets in the 21st Century: Competition Policy in Perspective

For Release

April 10-12 Conference in Washington, D.C., Will Explore a Range of Energy Issues

The Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the federal antitrust laws and is also the federal consumer protection enforcement agency, will host a conference in Washington, DC, on April 10-12, 2007, to explore a range of energy issues of importance to American consumers and to the United States and world markets.

The three-day conference, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Energy Markets in the 21st Century: Competition Policy in Perspective,” and will bring together leading experts from the government, industries in the energy sector, consumer groups, and academia to exchange information and ideas about critical issues related to energy development, transportation, marketing, and use.

“Few issues are more important to American consumers and businesses than the decisions being made about current and future energy production and use,” said FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. “Among a number of government agencies involved in law enforcement and oversight of the U.S. energy sector, the FTC plays a key role in maintaining competition and protecting consumers in energy markets. This conference will provide a forum for informed discussions and data sharing that will assist in fact-based decision-making.”

The goal of the conference, the Chairman said, is to allow a broad range of groups and individuals with a stake in U.S. energy policy to share information in one open forum. The three-day event will explore a wide range of topics relevant to maintaining competition and protecting consumers in energy markets. The conference will address issues arising in a number of energy sectors, potentially including petroleum, natural gas, biofuels (such as ethanol and biodiesel), coal, nuclear, electric power, and others.

The program will provide an historical overview of energy competition, development, production, and use, including what lessons were learned from the energy crises of the 1970s.

Participants also will discuss how energy markets work within the framework of government policy choices, and will examine the electric power industry and discuss the restructuring of that industry in recent years. Panels will focus on the transportation sector, as well as on new frontiers in energy and the implications of expected technological changes for energy consumers. There will also be a panel to address the role of well-informed consumers in the energy marketplace, including how they make energy consumption decisions and what the government can do to protect consumers and inform them about energy choices and alternatives. Finally, panels will be held to discuss the current implications of the world energy situation for U.S. energy supplies, whether we are more vulnerable today to energy supply and demand shocks, and experts’ recommendations to energy policy makers.

Logistics/Additional Information: The Energy Conference will be held at the FTC’s satellite building conference center, located at 601 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Washington, DC. Members of the public and press who wish to participate but cannot attend can view a live Webcast of the conference on the FTC’s Web site. For admittance to the conference center, all attendees will be required to show a valid form of photo identification, such as a driver’s license. Pre-registration is not necessary, but is encouraged. To pre-register, please e-mail your name and affiliation to: energyconf@ftc.gov.

The FTC also is seeking suggestions for panel members for each of the conference session topics. Panelist recommendations also can be sent to the pre-registration e-mail address, and must be received by February 16, 2007. Panelists selected to participate in the conference will be notified by February 28, 2007. The agenda for the workshop will be updated in the near future, at which time it will specify in more detail the key questions that panelists will be expected to address. It can be found on the Energy Conference Web page on the FTC’s home page at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/energymarkets/index.shtml. The FTC also maintains a regularly updated Web page specifically on issues related to the petroleum industry, which can be found at: http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/oilgas/index.html. Questions about the Energy Conference or either Web site should be directed to John H. Seesel, the FTC’s Associate General Counsel for Energy, at the phone number below.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161

STAFF CONTACT:

.John H. Seesel,
Office of the General Counsel
202-326-2702

Contact Information