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Ralph Eads

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NEWS
May 24, 2001 | RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The head of a Houston energy company denied driving California natural gas prices to unprecedented levels and testified Wednesday that his firm actually passed up an opportunity to make nearly $700 million in additional profits. But the company still earned a net profit of $184 million on an initial investment of $38.5 million, according to testimony by El Paso Merchant Group President Ralph Eads in a trial-like hearing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
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NEWS
May 24, 2001 | RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The head of a Houston energy company denied driving California natural gas prices to unprecedented levels and testified Wednesday that his firm actually passed up an opportunity to make nearly $700 million in additional profits. But the company still earned a net profit of $184 million on an initial investment of $38.5 million, according to testimony by El Paso Merchant Group President Ralph Eads in a trial-like hearing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
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BUSINESS
January 30, 2001 | From Bloomberg News
El Paso Energy Corp., owner of the biggest U.S. network of interstate natural-gas pipelines, said Monday that fourth-quarter profit rose 57% because of higher earnings from energy trading and increased gas sales to California and the Northeast. Profit from operations climbed to $176 million, or 73 cents a share, from $112 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier, spokeswoman Bridget McEvoy said.
NEWS
May 25, 2001 | RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The head of a Texas energy conglomerate personally endorsed a deal between two subsidiaries accused of manipulating the natural gas market in Southern California to drive up prices, a senior official of the firm testified Thursday. The testimony in a trial-like hearing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission raised questions about whether top officials of Houston-based El Paso Corp. violated FERC rules requiring arm's-length dealings within a corporate family.
BUSINESS
January 14, 2003 | From Reuters
A federal prosecutor said Monday that an El Paso Corp. trader charged with reporting fake gas trades was just one of several employees involved in a 2-year-old "conspiracy" to manipulate pricing indexes. The revelation came during a pretrial hearing for Todd Geiger, 38, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud and filing a false commodity report. He is accused of allegedly fabricating 48 natural gas trades.
NEWS
June 3, 2001 | RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Did a Texas energy conglomerate named El Paso gouge defenseless California electric utilities by charging many times the going rate for natural gas at a time when the utilities had nowhere else to turn? For three weeks and counting, this question has generated mountains of testimony and exhibits in a trial-like hearing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. "This case has proven to be much more complex than anyone imagined," FERC Chief Judge Curtis L. Wagner Jr.
NEWS
April 20, 2001 | MITCHELL LANDSBERG and MIGUEL BUSTILLO, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
This may be the surest sign yet of the depth of California's energy crisis: A bipartisan cross-section of the state's congressional delegation, brought together Thursday by Gov. Gray Davis, not only agreed about the severity of the problem but also about the need for swift federal intervention. "This meeting did not have the word 'Democrat' or 'Republican' used once," Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-Vista), said of the unusual spirit of cooperation at the meeting near Los Angeles International airport.
NEWS
January 14, 2001 | JAMES FLANIGAN, TIMES SENIOR ECONOMICS EDITOR
The big companies in this city that supply a quarter of California's electricity consider themselves loyal Western businesses that have invested heavily in a shared future with the Golden State--not "out-of-state" generators, as Gov. Gray Davis referred to them last week, and certainly not the profiteering gougers he routinely accuses them of being. "We invested in California.
BUSINESS
October 22, 2002 | Myron Levin and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writers
No one was talking about a California energy crisis in spring 2000. But officials at the state Public Utilities Commission thought they smelled a rat. El Paso Corp., owner of the biggest natural-gas pipeline serving California, had just sold a giant swath of pipeline capacity to its own gas-marketing company, El Paso Merchant Energy. The utility watchdogs at the PUC saw it as a classic conflict of interest.
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