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WORLD
August 23, 2007 | Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writer
It is a rare three-day summertime weekend, and that means a headlong rush out of sweltering, smoggy Tehran toward the shores of the Caspian Sea. The narrow highway is hopelessly jammed; drivers abandon their cars for the kiosks selling sodas, ice cream bars and hand-woven souvenir baskets along the roadside. Families despairing of a hotel room spread out straw mats four rows deep on the sidewalks and parking lots of this beach town, snoozing for the night alongside itinerant rice harvesters.
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BUSINESS
June 22, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Two power companies will pay $84 million to settle claims against them stemming from the 2000-01 California energy crisis, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Thursday. The agency found widespread manipulation during the power crisis in Western states in 2000 and 2001, when California endured a huge jump in natural gas and electricity prices, rolling blackouts and the bankruptcy filing of its biggest utility.
BUSINESS
March 7, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
California faces a small, although worrisome, chance of rolling blackouts this summer, according to the operator of most of the state's power transmission system. Southern California faces a 3.7% probability of a supply problem, while Northern California has a 3.5% chance for a Stage 3 power emergency, the California Independent System Operator, or Cal-ISO, said in documents on its website.
BUSINESS
February 15, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Two former Enron Corp. traders accused of driving up energy prices during California's power crisis were each sentenced Wednesday to two years of court-supervised release. Timothy Belden, the former head of trading in Enron's Portland, Ore., office, was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty in October 2002 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. His plea was the first prosecution of anyone related to the West's energy crisis in 2000 and 2001.
BUSINESS
December 20, 2006 | Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer
In a win for California consumers, an appeals court ruled Tuesday that federal regulators must consider cutting the cost of billions of dollars in power contracts that state officials believe were overpriced because they were signed during the state's energy crisis and based on market rates that were rigged. The decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates a case that could yield California electricity customers $1.
BUSINESS
August 9, 2006 | Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer
Sempra Energy and more than a dozen other energy companies must provide hundreds of hours of recorded conversations with their natural gas traders to attorneys who are hoping to prove that they illegally inflated prices for California gas customers, a judge ruled Tuesday. The ruling, which came after a daylong hearing, resolves one of many disputes that have emerged over the traders' tapes in the case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2006 | Sharon Bernstein, Times Staff Writer
The Department of Water and Power has embarked on a block-by-block analysis of residents' electricity needs, hoping to upgrade and enlarge its aging system of transformers before the next heat wave hits. The move comes as officials acknowledged that the DWP badly underestimated the amount of electricity L.A. residents would need during periods of extremely hot weather, resulting in widespread blackouts last month.
BUSINESS
August 5, 2006 | From Reuters
A federal jury in Houston found two former energy traders guilty of wire fraud in connection with the transmission of natural gas prices to industry newsletters but did not convict the pair on conspiracy and other false-reporting charges, the Justice Department said. Former Dynegy Inc. gas trader Michelle Valencia was convicted of seven counts of wire fraud. Former El Paso Corp. trader Greg Singelton was convicted of one count of wire fraud.
WORLD
July 28, 2006 | Rone Tempest, Times Staff Writer
As the Israeli military blockade of Lebanese ports enters its third week, officials here say they are running critically short of fuel for power plants. "All our power generation depends on fuel oil," Public Works and Transportation Minister Mohammed Safadi said Thursday. "We are five days away from running out."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2006 | Sharon Bernstein, Patrick McGreevy and Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writers
Southern California was struck with a new round of power outages Monday as demand for electricity stretched the state's supply and the aging system of local lines and transformers continued to fail in the face of a record heat wave. The demand for electricity was so great that California's power regulators asked some businesses to cut back their power usage. The state narrowly avoiding rolling blackouts as temperatures moderated slightly -- a cooling trend expected to continue today.
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