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June 9, 2006 | Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer
Lawyers for the California attorney general's office and others mounted a last-ditch effort Thursday to alter a nearly $1.8-billion settlement with Sempra Energy over allegations that it conspired to restrict natural gassupplies and raise prices during the state's energy crisis. San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald Prager had given the pact his blessing in a tentative ruling issued late Wednesday.
May 16, 2006 | From Times Wire Services
U.S. electricity supplies this summer will be tighter than last summer as demand for power has grown more quickly than new generation, and parts of California and Connecticut will be at risk of blackouts under extreme conditions, an industry group said Monday. Generating capacity in the U.S. and Canada will be 17% higher than overall peak demand, down from 17.5% during last year's peak, according to the North American Electric Reliability Council. Power supplies will have increased by 1.
January 20, 2006 | From Reuters
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday issued rules to prevent a repeat of the kind of massive market manipulation by Enron Corp. and others during the 2000-01 energy crisis that ravaged California and other Western states. The rules, which Congress authorized FERC to issue as part of a $14.5-billion energy bill passed last year, ban "any manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance" in the U.S. wholesale natural gas and electricity markets.
January 1, 2006 | Doug Smith, Times Staff Writer
Much of Iraq ushered in the new year under a near blackout today as a week-old power crunch worsened across huge sections of the northern and central parts of the country. Baghdad's already sporadic electrical power supply was cut to about an hour Saturday, causing a legion of private generators to roar steadily and dampening the spirits of millions of Iraqis preparing for New Year's Eve, traditionally a joyous time of fireworks, family gatherings and public outings.
December 7, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Widespread power failures blacked out much of President Robert Mugabe's state of the nation address in which he promised to address Zimbabwe's chronic electricity shortages. Downtown Harare lost power minutes before state-run radio and television were scheduled to broadcast Mugabe's speech. The television station ran cartoons until power was restored about half an hour into the speech.
October 31, 2005 | From Associated Press
Los Angeles County and 11 other plaintiffs in a massive class-action lawsuit against Sempra Energy have agreed to settle for an undisclosed amount. The trial against Southern California Gas Co., San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and their parent company, Sempra Energy, began last week and will continue despite the settlement with some of the plaintiffs. The utilities are accused of trying to manipulate the deregulated energy market, contributing to California's 2000-01 power crisis.
October 28, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
Sempra Energy Chief Executive Stephen Baum said Thursday that he could not recall that a meeting took place in 1996 between subordinates and El Paso Corp. executives, as testimony began in the trial of a lawsuit accusing the two companies of plotting to limit natural gas supplies in California. "I don't have an independent recollection of this meeting," Baum said under questioning by Pierce O'Donnell, a lawyer for utility customers.
October 27, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
Sempra Energy, owner of the largest U.S. natural gas utility, was accused in a class-action trial that began Wednesday of sparking California's energy crisis by conspiring to limit the state's gas supplies. Pierce O'Donnell, a lawyer for utility customers, said Sempra agreed with El Paso Corp. in 1996 to prevent the construction of pipelines that would have brought more natural gas into the state.
October 14, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Alarmed by recent power outages, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has asked the city Department of Water and Power to hire an outside firm to see whether the electricity system has been properly maintained and upgraded. In a letter to the department, the mayor cited three recent power outages, including one Tuesday. The review, he wrote, "will help determine the most effective maintenance schedule and proper level of investment in the city's electrical system infrastructure."
October 4, 2005 | Ronald D. White, Times Staff Writer
U.S. and California diesel prices jumped to record highs and gasoline prices surged as the key Gulf Coast energy industry strained to repair unexpectedly severe hurricane damage, a federal survey showed Monday. A dozen refineries in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi remained shut down Monday, with only one -- an Exxon plant in Beaumont, Texas -- that appeared ready for a quick return to full production. Together, they represent nearly 20% of the nation's ability to turn oil into refined products.
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