Tuesday, August 30, 2005

State slapped down on energy claim

Despite a string of victories on recovering energy costs, the State of California finally lost one claim:

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by California officials accusing Canadian electricity generator Powerex Corp. of $850 million in price gouging during the 2000-01 energy crisis.

In a rare defeat for California officials in their quest for billions in refunds, U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. of Sacramento said the state's claim should be taken to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

"FERC has exclusive jurisdiction to determine 'just and reasonable' wholesale energy rates," Burrell wrote in his decision.

Powerex spokeswoman Elish Moreno said FERC has already ruled that her company's charges were fair.