New Lockyer suit says Sempra misled regulators

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals As a result, the lawsuit said, SDG&E was forced to stop selling natural gas to large business customers, including power plants owned by Duke Energy and Dynegy, for 17 days during the state’s electricity shortage of 2000 and 2001. That drove up natural gas prices and forced the power plants to burn heavier oil that was more polluting and expensive, the lawsuit said. The suit asks for at least $1 million in fines and divestiture of some of Sempra’s assets. An attorney for Sempra, W. Davis Smith, said the lawsuit was a meritless attempt to force Sempra to settle a third lawsuit filed in San Diego by a number of Sempra customers. He said the natural gas shortage was caused by unusually high demand in the San Diego area during the winter of 2000-2001 but that it didn’t result in the shutdown of any power plants. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Bill Lockyer has filed a second lawsuit against Sempra Energy, saying the company’s misleading statements about its ability to maintain natural gas supplies contributed to the state’s energy crisis in 2000 and 2001. The lawsuit, filed Monday in San Diego County Superior Court, comes less than a week after Lockyer accused a Sempra subsidiary of using illegal tactics to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in higher electricity prices. In the latest lawsuit, the attorney general said two other Sempra subsidiaries, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Gas Co., assured the California Public Utilities Commission that they had enough pipeline capacity to serve a new power plant in Mexico and maintain supplies for their other customers. “They lied,” Lockyer spokesman Tom Dresslar said. “They knew they didn’t have enough capacity.” last_img read more