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Report: Evidence of Price-Gouging During California Energy Crisis

by CNN, November 16, 2002

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) -- A report by federal energy regulators details how two power companies may have conspired to drive up prices during California's 2000-2001 energy crisis.

The previously undisclosed findings have angered officials who say regulators let the companies off with just a slap on the wrist.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report focuses on discussions between employees of Williams and AES Corporation about prolonging an outage at a power plant to take advantage of higher prices the state was paying at the height of the crisis.

The report says employees also cut deals to shut down a second power plant AES operated for Williams.

As a result of the two plants being closed for 15 days, Williams earned more than $10 million dollars in energy sales from its other plants.

The FERC investigation ended in March 2001 when Williams agreed to refund the state $8 million dollars. The companies did not admit any wrongdoing.

CNN and Associated Press
Report: Evidence of Price-Gouging During California Energy Crisis, November 16, 2002

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