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Utilities to Settle Trading Charges

Reliant Resources and SDG&E, accused by FERC of manipulating the state's energy markets, agree to pay.

August 30, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Services

Reliant Resources Inc. will pay $836,000 to settle allegations by U.S. regulators that it manipulated California power prices, and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. will pay $27,972, officials said Friday.

Neither admitted wrongdoing, and the settlements reached with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff are subject to approval by the full commission.

SDG&E, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, agreed to settle because "we want our focus to be on providing safe and reliable utility services and felt this was in the best interest of the public," spokesman Dave Johnson said.

SDG&E was one of 43 companies that FERC ordered in June to explain suspicious trading activity during the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001. The companies have until Tuesday to file a response.

Six other companies have agreed to settle. They are American Electric Power Co., Aquila Inc., Mirant Corp., Portland General Electric, Puget Energy Inc. and Scottish Power.

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