Investigations: More Juice for the FPC?

To many experts, a clear corollary of the great Northeastern blackout in November was that the Federal Power Commission should exercise closer control over the utility companies. Last week, before a special House subcommittee holding the first congressional hearings on the near disaster, FPC Chairman Joseph Swidler added his voice to those who advocate strengthening the agency.

While the Federal Government tightly regulates other forms of interstate commerce, from transport to pharmaceuticals, the FPC's main function is to approve the wholesale rates at which the nation's 3,600 electric companies can sell power...

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