FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Judge Orders FERC to Pay Gates Brothers’ Attorney’s Fees in FOIA Dispute

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin SchmidtComment

Judge Orders FERC to Pay Gates Brothers’ Attorney’s Fees in FOIA Dispute

By Ted Caddell, RTO Insider, Oct. 10, 2016

FERC has been ordered to pay attorney’s fees for stonewalling an energy trading company’s request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

While the award — $60,168 — was not huge, the fact that a U.S. District Court judge ruled against FERC was unusual.

Kevin and Rich Gates, acting as principals of the energy trading company STS Energy Partners, filed FOIA requests seeking documents related to investigations by FERC’s Office of Enforcement into two other energy trading companies, Oceanside Energy and Black Oak Energy.

The Gates brothers, who have been involved in a very public battle with FERC over market manipulation allegations against one of their other companies, Powhatan Energy Fund, said in filings that they wanted the documents “to shine light on FERC’s recent and punitive efforts against small power market traders for engaging in legal and ubiquitous activity.” They have accused FERC of withholding information before. (See Gates, Powhatan Say FERC Enforcers Didn’t Share Crucial Info.)

Read more here.

[Copy of court case here]